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James Bryan Adams, age 73, of Mountain City, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, February 28, 2013 in the Holston Valley Medical Center. He was born on May 15, 1939. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ken and Winnie Adams; a brother, Edward Miller, a grandson, Zachory Hill and sister-in-law, Billie Lee McEwen.
Bryan was a 1957 graduate of Johnson County High School. He was a United States Air Force Veteran and a member of the American Legion Post #61. Bryan was also a licensed insurance agent.
He was an active member and Elder of the Mountain City Presbyterian Church.
Bryan Adams was a man of many talents, talents that he openly shared with the world. He was a world class steel guitar player and worked with such names as Little Jimmy Dickens, David Houston, Claude Gray and Ava Barber among others. He also did a lot of studio work, playing on recordings of the well known and not so well known.
Bryan was also a world class steel guitar builder. He worked for the Emmons Guitar Company in North Carolina for many years. His work as a builder is highly praised by players all over the world.
Photography was another of his many talents. He had a reputation for taking the best wedding pictures in the area as well as having pictures published in various magazines.
Bryan was a licensed pilot, holding all the certifications you could have and acted as a flight instructor as well.
He was also one of the top bench rest shooters in the country. He participated in many area competitions.
Bryan will be missed by all who knew him.
He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Carolyn Adams; one daughter and son-in-law, Kristy and Todd May of Marion, VA; two sons and daughter-in-law, Eric Hill of Mountain City, TN and Robby and Kim McLean of Gray, TN; six grandchildren: Emma, Sophia, and Molly May, Calina and Kinsey McLean and Tristan Hill; two nieces: Tonda McEwen and Susan Hayes; three great-nieces: Shelby, April and Jamie Hayes; brother-in-law, Loyd McEwen; several cousins; and many special friends.
The family received friends from 5-7:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Mountain City Funeral Home with the funeral service following at 7:00 p.m. with Dr. Tom Peake and Jim Swoager officiating.
Music was under the direction and provided by Ms. Janice Russell, Dr. Tom Peake and wife Ann. Special music was by Mike Sweeney.
Graveside service with Military Honors accorded by the Johnson County Honor Guard were held at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at the Reece Memorial Cemetery. Pallbearers were: Mike Sweeney, Eric Hill, Steve Leonard, Joe Hill, Michael Grayson, and Dale Pendergraft. Honorary Pallbearers were all of Bryan’s many friends he had made through his love of music and marksmanship and his many endeavors.
At other times, the family will receive friends at the home, 416 North Church Street, Mountain City, TN
Condolences may be sent to the family through our website at
The family of James Bryan Adams has entrusted his services to Mountain City Funeral Home, 224 S. Church Street, Mountain City, TN 37683.