Jimmy James for Simply Myrna

Entertainment

Jimmy James for Simply Myrna

BY BASIL WALTERS
Observer writer

Sunday, February 24, 2019

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JIMMY James, former lead singer of The Vagabonds, is one of the headline acts for Simply Myrna in Cabaret scheduled for the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston on Saturday, March 2.

Show time is 8:00 pm.

Promoter/singer Myrna Hague is upbeat about her expectations of this year's show.

“Every year you feel as if it couldn't get any better than the last... I am bursting with excitement and I am sure the audience will be well entertained,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

The event is again under the distinguished patronage of Sir Kenneth and Lady Hall.

Also sharing the Simply Myrna stage will be singer Bunny Rose, a popular act on the local hotel circuit.

Rose has been getting rave reviews for his extensive repertoire, which includes songs in Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, German and a wide range of genre from Broadway, classical, pop and reggae.

Growing up in Kingston, James began performing and recording as a solo artiste with top producers Clement “Coxson” Dodd, Clancy Eccles, and Lyndon Pottinger. His most successful release was an early version of Come To Me Softly, which convinced the singer to give up a job with the Inland Revenue department for a music career.

The Vagabonds were originally formed in 1960. James teamed up with them under Canadian band manager Roger Smith and in April 1964, they relocated to the United Kingdom.

They signed a recording contract with Pye Records and released their best known studio album, The New Religion, in 1966. The band also played as support for The Who, and Sonny & Cher, Rod Stewart (who was also on Pye Records at the time), and The Rolling Stones. The band often used the Abbey Road Studios, once being there at the same time as The Beatles were recording. Their live performance was captured in the album, London Swings – Live at the Marquee Club, also featuring The Alan Bown Set. Jimmy James and the Vagabonds were labelmates and rivals of Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band.

The Vagabonds disbanded in 1970, but James, who owned the name, reformed the band with a new, all-white line-up in 1974. They had hits in the UK Singles Chart with I'll Go Where Your Music Takes Me and Now Is The Time.

Without James, the Vagabonds recorded an album (Ska-Time) as “Jamaica's Original Vagabonds”, which was released in 1970.

James continues to make waves on the cabaret circuit across Europe.


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