Sunday, August 05, 2012

Jimmy Jones RIP

Sorry to hear of the death of early sixties singing sensation Jimmy Jones, aged 82. Jimmy's amazing falsetto voice turned Handy Man and Good Timin' into two of the biggest hits of 1960. Jimmy co-wrote Handy Man in 1955 while he was with the Sparks of Rhythm and it went on to be covered by the likes of Del Shannon (who was inspired by Jimmy's high voice) and James Taylor. Jimmy continued to record for Cub (MGM in the UK) for another couple of years with decreasing success, despite some excellent records including I Just Go For You, Ready For Love, I Told You So, Say Love, Mr Music Man and You're Much Too Young. He went on to record some uptown soul for Roulette, Parkway and Veejay and I have a 45 on Bell of him singing True Love Ways which shows just how sweet his voice was. Other singers who were influenced by Jimmy were Lou Christie, Frankie Valli and Robin Gibb.
When Handy Man came out I was just starting my personal top ten and all of Jimmy's MGM singles were favourites of mine - indeed I Just Go For You was the second biggest record in my 1960 chart (after Wonderful World). I loved his exciting R and B flavoured vocals. The Vinyl Word raises a glass to one of the forgotten greats of pop and soul music.
A final word, too, for 50s crooner Tony Martin, who was 98, and for bluesman Big Walter Smith, aged 82.


At 10:06 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't realise he was as old as 82. can't remember what it is the flipside to, but ' You Got It' was always one of my favourites.

At 8:18 am , Blogger Nick said...

You Got It was the flipside of I Told You So - an excellent double sider. Yes, I thought he was younger too, but let's face it, it's over 50 years since his peak!


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