Before Roger Miller, Ray Stevens and Brad Paisley, Little Jimmy Dickens was the king of novelty songs. Dickens knew when he graduated from high school that he wanted to be a country singer; his biggest hit, "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose," was just one of many songs that branded him a novelty singer. Below, The Boot's readers can learn, in Dickens' own words, what it was like hearing himself on the radio for the first time.

Oh my, that would have been in 1949. I don't remember where I was exactly, but I do know one thing: It was a great feeling to know that I had recorded a song that I had been doing for years before I came [to the Grand Ole Opry]. Then it came out and did well for us, and kind of branded me as a novelty singer.

"Take an Old Cold Tater (and Wait)" is the name of the song. I'd been doing that for 10 years, all over different areas of the country, and I did it on the Opry, and it did so well with the reception before I recorded it, but Mr. Fred Rose, who was head of Acuff / Rose Publishing Company, thought that that would be a good song for me as a first recording for Columbia.

This story was originally written by Pat Gallagher, and revised by Angela Stefano.

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