James Douglas "Jimmy" Gardner Jr.
Pearson Funeral Home
149 Breckenridge Lane
Louisville, KY 40207
Gardner, James "Jimmy" Douglas Jr.,

64, passed away Sunday March 22, 2015 at Baptist Hospital East. He was born on January 15, 1951 to the late James Douglas Gardner Sr. and Alma Fay Riggs.

He was a beloved musician who sang and played guitar in many bands, locally and across the United States. He was also an electrician with IBEW Local Union 369 and a Seneca High School graduate. He was an incredibly loving and generous husband, father and friend to all who knew him, as well as an avid U of L Cardinals fan, a talented entertainer, a master of laughs, and The Scrabble King. He truly was a man with a heart of gold.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Barbara Marie Barker; his sons, Dylan and Dean Gardner; his brother, Glenn Gardner (Cindy); and his sisters, Gwen Cubine (John) and Becky Gardner.

Visitation will be 3-7 p.m. on Thursday March 26, 2015 at Pearson's Funeral Home, 149 Breckinridge Lane. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. on Friday March 27, 2015 at Pearson's Funeral Home, with burial at Evergreen Cemetery.

Memorial contributions can be made to the American Heart Association.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Courier-Journal from Mar. 25 to Mar. 27, 2015.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
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Funeral services provided by:
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69 Entries
I used to go over to Jimmy's house and listen to Paul McCartney. We always had fun together. Pogie intoduced us in the late 60's. Jimmy was a great guy who you couldn't help but love. We both loed the Cardinals.
Maryanne Mahoy
March 20, 2019
I have no words to really express how much Jimmy meant to me. I have been away from Louisville for quite some time and am just now hearing about this and I am in total disbelief. First of all my heart goes out to Barbara and the boys. I don't know all of the circumstances but I'm sure this is difficult and I know the Louisville contingent will be there to help all they can. I met Jimmy at age 19 when I was an aspiring blues player trying to find my way and break into the Louisville blues scene. He was nothing more than receptive, supportive and above all, a friend. I will never forget the night the band I had played the same show with Blond Johnson at Headliners when Jimmy forgot his bass at home and was nervous to ask to borrow mine. I thought that was hilarious because I was like "DUDE, you're Jimmy freakin Gardner, of course!" I will also never forget how gracious he was to a stupid kid from the sticks that just happened to want to do the same thing he was doing. I will miss you Jimmy! Thank you, thank you from "the heart of my bottom" as you used to say. I will be playing some Little Red Rooster and having a toast to your existence tonight and to how meeting you made my life better. Thanks for being an entertainer, inspiration, comedy relief and a friend. Most of all, thanks for being you and blistering the eardrums with that Michael Jordan signature Music Man bass and just playing the goddam blues. RIP Buddy! My heart is broken
Brian Carr
January 30, 2016
As sons of brothers we played together - we were cousins.
Later Jimmy & his band came to south Florida for several weeks in the late 70s what experience. A funny, fun & great guy and great cousin. Love you and will NEVER forget you!

Garry Gardner
March 29, 2015
I knew Jimmy only through his music. When I saw him in The Mighty Water Kings, I was a complete fan and followed him around town at clubs and concerts. He was an incredibly talented entertainer and someone that will be missed terribly.
J,H, Hughes
March 26, 2015
Always a mischievous twinkle in the eye, an infectious smile, & a gracious soul. Lived life to the fullest and had a great ride. Perpetual peace to you & yours,...
The Blincoes
March 26, 2015
To all the Gardner family, I am so sorry for your loss. Jimmy will forever live on in your hearts. I know I'll always remember the good times from decades ago.
Connie Crawley
March 26, 2015
My deepest and most sincere condolences to family, loved ones and close friends of a man who brought laughter and enjoyment to those who were lucky enough to experience his talent.

To Jimmy, thanks for sharing your gift with us. I will think of you often and remember.

"Threes and Eights" my old friend.
March 26, 2015
I love you cuz, you will be missed dearly.we love you
robin shrode
March 26, 2015
Just think of all of the good things you can say about a man.....that was Jimmy!
Rick Taylor
March 26, 2015
Jimmy hope your in a wonderful world you will be so missed ❤
Beckie spider Snyder
March 26, 2015
Thinking of you, Barbara. XO
~Gretchen Stein Henry
March 26, 2015
Jimmy I will miss you and
Your music
March 26, 2015
First met Jimmy when he was doing electrical work at Blue Cross Blue Shield--we'd talk about lots of things while riding in the elevator. My gang of friends, The Rowdy Girls, used to meet up at his concerts and have just the best time! Rock on, Jimmy! I can hear that blusey downbeat behind you on stage, markin' time!
Duffy Jones
March 26, 2015
Our favorite "Blues Man" has left this earthly plane. You will be missed by so many who love and adore you!
Nancy & Rusty Holzheimer
March 26, 2015
Jimmy was a character.. never met anyone quite like him and I just loved the guy. Playing in a band with him, although briefly, was so much fun and something I'll never forget. When Jimmy was your friend (and I was lucky enough to be his friend) you were his friend forever. I'd see him after years and he'd just light up and show the love he had in him. He was a warm and talented guy with a great heart. Not having seen him for years I read about his passing and cried like a kid. I loved the guy.. I still love the guy. My deepest condolences to his family.
Stephen Foster
March 26, 2015
Bless the memory of Jimmy Gardner..Truly one the funniest guys I ever met..A great bluesman with a real feel for the music he loved..Jimmy also had a soft heart and a kind spirit...Godspeed buddy..Condolences to his family and close friends.
John Mitchell
March 26, 2015
I loved that Man! I had the pleasure of being his "Light Man" for Midnite Special from 1978-1982! Being a young 18 year old Dummy from Indiana, and thrown into that crazy world was a little over whelming. After 2 months on the road with these guy's I was done! Jimbo and Ray Stribbling talked me into going out one more time. One of the best moves I made. Jimbo, Wayne, Pogie, Jeff, Ray, Bruce, and Gary had a big influence on the rest of my life. Jimbo always knew I wanted to go into the Air Force and always pushed me that way. He always called me the "Wing Commander"! I did go in and retired from the AF. I just recently moved back here and got to spend some time with my Friend but, not enough. Thanks Jim for all the knowledge, advice and friendship. I love you!
Dave Westfall
March 26, 2015
I met Jimmy, through mutual friends, on the first day of our freshman year, 1969, at WKU. We became fast friends and spent a lot of fun times together at "1801" where he and his brother Glen lived.
Our last time together was at The Brass A Halloween party in 1975 at which he was playing. What a lovely guy and true talent. We lost touch over the years but I would keep up with him through Glen at fraternity events . Luckily, just recently ! caught up with him through Joel Pinkerton and had made plans to come surprise him. That never came to be and I'll regret this forever. I'm sorry I waited too late buddy. RIP old friend.
Tommy Holderfield
March 25, 2015
Barbara, I am so sorry that you are are having to face such a shocking and devastating loss. Your love for Jimmy was so true. Sorry I will not be there. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and the entire family. Much love, Pat Barker
March 25, 2015
I was so sorry to hear the news. I fell in love with his sound the very first time I heard him sing, so much so that I had to have Hellfish play at my wedding on the Belle. Not your traditional wedding band, but I wouldn't have had it any other way! Jam on Jimmy. Peace be with the family.
Cari (Sunderland) Hylton
March 25, 2015
Many special memories spent with Jimmy on and off the stage! Take the lead MrJimmy and show 'em how it's done!
Debbie McAllister
March 25, 2015
Jimmy always made those around him laugh ,and put smiles on their faces !!
Rick Young
March 25, 2015
I knew Jimmy from growing up with his sister Gwen. At Seneca High School he was a funny, cute, talented guy, and lots of fun to be around. Rest in Eternal Peace Jimmy. Gwen, prayers for you and your family during this sad time.
Julie Williams
March 25, 2015
I have known Jimmy for many years. Every time I would see him it was a an immediate simile for me. He was contagious and I can't imagine life without him. Mike and I will miss him daily. Prayers for his wife and family and his friends.
Anne Hubbs
March 25, 2015
loved the man he always made me crack up every time we were together
March 25, 2015
Jimmy was and shall remain my greatest influence. Coolest, funniest, most entertaining guy I ever knew. My life will truly not be the same without him. My King, My King I will miss you. I'll see ya' somewhere down the road.
Johnny Frost
March 25, 2015
About four years ago, at our memorial, Jimmy helped to honor my late husband, Otis Franklin, with his voice, his smile and his big, open, welcoming spirit. He was wonderful and everyone loved him. Thank you, Jimmy. Now we honor you with love. Love and good warm thoughts to Barbara and the family.
Dorace (Doodle) Peters
March 25, 2015
To all of the Gardner family, It is so terribly difficult to hear of Jimmy's passing. I was a childhood friend of his younger cousin's Bill & Tisha. Through Bill, I met Jimmy so far back it's hard to believe. Though I haven't talked with him in years, he was very kind/patient to two young aspiring musicians, Bill and I, taking the time to meet up with us and try and teach us a few songs. We were still teenagers in awe of what he was doing. yet Jimmy took time out of a 20 somethings busy life to spend it with his younger cousin and friend he barely knew. He was very open and friendly and kids never forget the attention given in earnest from the older guy doing what they wish they could. There has to be a very special blues band in heaven and they just recruited a new front man. All my prayers and good thoughts go out to the Gardner family as they come to grips with this difficult loss..
Steve Metzger
March 25, 2015
He made a lot of people smile and warmed a lot of hearts. Peace and love brother and "thank you very nice".
Tommy Walker
March 25, 2015
A superior entertainer whom my friends and I enjoyed and followed everywhere he played for years for some serious blues and dancing! He will be missed greatly. To his remaining family, I wish you peace in your loss and grief.
March 25, 2015
A great man, incredible entertainer and the best friend!
Dana Roy
March 25, 2015
My love and prayers to all our family. Wish i could be there.
Cora Lee Kidd
March 25, 2015
I was told Sunday evening that Jimmy died,and I had to read the obituary before I actually could believe it. I was the sound mixer for Midnite Special from 1976-1980. Loved him like a brother.Will miss him always.
Ray Stribbling
March 25, 2015
R.I.P. your music will live on as your memory does also.
March 25, 2015
My favorite cousin. My love to all the family.
Tisha Benton (Gardner)
March 25, 2015
Hi my name is Tisha. I am Jimmys cousin. Eventhough I have not seen him in years, he
was always my favorite. You will be greatly missed..My love to all.......
Tisha Benton. (Gardner)
March 25, 2015
Jimmy was just a great guy. Great sense of humor...I met him at WKU in'72, followed his musical journey here in Louisville. He will be missed!
Kevin Kerr
March 25, 2015
I think I'll saddle up my pony
I just feel the need to ride
'Got nobody waitin' for me
I just need - to get outside
'Cause you know,
One more minute and we might do something crazy
And I don't want to take this down.
I'm packin' up and leavin' town,
for one more time.

...but I will remember you
I will keep you always in my heart
If they ever write a book of my life story
You'll be, the best part.

Save me a seat Jimmy
Louis Nihrkova
March 25, 2015
Although I haven't seen Jimmy in years I feel fortunate to have crossed paths with him in this life. He made this world a better place...see you in the ever after old friend.
Greg Mason
March 25, 2015
I followed Blonde Johnson like a love struck teenage girl (Jimmy would see the innuendo here) and then later had the privelege of my band opening for Hellfish at Stevie Ray's. I remember when he walked in the door being so nervous because he was one of my heroes. His humor and talent were unparalleled.
Louis Ballard
March 25, 2015
Jimmy will always have a special place in my heart! He was my special friend in high school. Praying for the comfort and peace of the family.
Terri Berutich Crider
March 25, 2015
Thanks for the great fun, Jimmy.
Jeff McAllister
March 25, 2015
Rest in Peace my old friend !! You and Ricky have fun in Rock n Roll heaven !!!
Paula Geoghegan
March 25, 2015
Jimmy was the consummate entertainer. I will never forget all his stories or his laugh. I will always appreciate him joining my family at my Mom's 80th Birthday Party. I remember Michael Jordan on the back of his guitar. She loved him so much and loved Blonde Johnson, so the band played and she was so thrilled. Godspeed, Jimmy.
Joan McGarry Kellogg
March 25, 2015
The loss felt in the musical community is greater than most can imagine. I loved to see Jimmy play, sing and so naturally entertain the crowd. His infectious smile always brought a feeling of satisfaction to those who witnessed it. He was a true gentleman, an extremely talented musician and a valued friend for so many. my heart is with the family, and all his friends, who I know are devastated. May you all find the strength to make it through these days ahead.
Elaine Hertweck
March 25, 2015
Best front man ever, full of happiness & laughter. You'll be missed.
Jimmy Brewer
March 25, 2015
Jimmy was one of the nicest and most talented people I've ever met. Though I hadn't seen him play in many years, he will be dearly missed. A tremendous loss for the 'Ville music scene. My deepest sympathies to Jimmy's family and friends.
Shannon Spies
March 25, 2015
Jimmy,you will be missed this Derby,
party on! your Friend Roger B
March 25, 2015
This loss is a very tough one, as a BBQ vendor guy for 30+ years, Jimmy and his many bands always showed us much love and laughter when most could care less, his stage presence was second to his off stage persona and was always there when any charity needed help. RIP Jimmy you will be missed by so many. Prayers for the family.
Stephen & June Bug Bowles
March 25, 2015
Our friend, road room mate, cousin and bestman-A piece of us has gone with Jimmy-he will forever live with us as we rock on. Debbie & Pogie Decker
March 25, 2015
Jimmy worked for me years ago at Sgt. Pepper's in Bowling Green. He was the original 'wild man' and was a constant pleasure to work with and socialize with. I can't believe he's gone. Another of my employees from that head shop passed a few years ago and will be awaiting Jimmy in Rock & Roll Heaven.
David Angle
March 25, 2015
Jimmy was a very good friend of mine in the early 70's . I met him through Pogie Decker. Rest in Peace Jimmy. Mary Anne
March 25, 2015
Jimmy was a good man! Never heard anyone say anything bad about Him. Look up and smile for I am sure Jimmy is looking down and smiling back!!!!!!
Marvin Grasmick
March 25, 2015
I have not seen Jimmy for over four decades. I have thought of him often and it always made me smile. I'm sure the memory of him will always lighten someone's day.
Ken Neighbors
March 25, 2015
he was a nut full of fun with his good nature, RIP he was a good old boy.
Gerry Webster
March 25, 2015
I met Jimmy in North Carolina when I was 17 years old. Later I married one of his band mates and moved to Louisville. Jimmy actually walked me down the aisle at our wedding. He was like family to me. Like so many things in life we lost touch over the last many years but I have thought of him often and am incredibly sad for this loss and the loss to his family. If you ever met him he made you laugh. Rest in Peace my friend and I pray that God will help your family and friends through their grief.
Denise Hodges
March 25, 2015
My prayers go out to the family. I went through the apprenticeship with him and he would always turn a bad day into good with his laughter. He will be missed.
Lisa Miller
March 25, 2015
You will be missed my friend. Rest in peace.
Cathy Seebert Dusel
March 24, 2015
I knew Jimmy as a fellow musician and Pogie's cousin. Jimmy was THE coolest guy. And the best part was when I saw him he always asked where I'd been playing and with which bands. He always made me feel like I was "in the same club as him." And that made him that much cooler. RIP brother! Cats don't come any cooler.
Dave Schmitt
March 24, 2015
An old friend, who grew up directly behind me; fast forward years ahead to seeing him perform. It was always a great show. Jimmy was unforgettable and a great guy to know. I met his two sons living on Axton Lane. So our lives interestingly wrapped around in different places. Prayers for his sons and all his friends who will miss him so. Rynda Fredrickson
March 24, 2015
Jimmy was one of the nicest and most talented people I've ever met, and the Louisville music community is now a lot sadder!! However, he leaves behind a rich, positive legacy and we will always remember him with smiles on our faces.
Jeffrey Jarboe
March 24, 2015
In Junior High and High School, I may have been the truly "number one fan" of the Rock 'N Roll band in which Jimmy and my brother, Wayne, played. Such happy memories, even now, bring smiles and laughter to me. It was wonderful! Jimmy was fun, talented and a friend. Rest well with our Lord, Jimmy.
Janice Barnes Shafer
Janice Barnes Shafer
March 24, 2015
March 24, 2015
I was fortunate to play music with Jimmy at a few parties and gatherings, Mark Davis and I got him and his sons to play at the Carrollton Blues festival. He was always funny,kind and smiling a consummate entertainer and a great human being.
Clayton Dermon
March 24, 2015
Jimmy made me laugh as hard as I have ever laughed in my life. He was a truly talented musician. I was honored to have played in a band with him during high school and more recently at a reunion.
Wayne Barnes
March 24, 2015
Prayers for the family to be comforted through this tough time. Jimmy will be sorely missed. The Louisville Music community has suffered a great loss.
Susan ONeil
March 24, 2015
Play on Jimmy. Its a dimmer world without you.
Aviv Naamani
March 24, 2015
Sad to see Jimmy go, he was a great entertainer, a great guy, and a fun friend.
Mark Miceli
March 24, 2015
What a huge loss for our local music community! Jimmy Gardner was an incredible showman and musician. He had a larger than life personality and a great smile that made you smile and listen as he jammed on his guitar with his signature hat and sunglasses. We will miss you so.
Sylvia Walters
March 24, 2015