Jimmy was born on August 10, 1943 in Cincinnati Ohio, but shortly after, his family moved to Memphis. He was inspired to develop his musical talents at the tender age of 7 after spending some time with a couple guys who lived across the street. The neighbors? None other than Dorsey and Johnny Burnette. While Jimmy was honing his performing skills, the Burnette brothers moved to California. After he graduated from high School in 1962, he visited Dorsey in Hollywood.
Dorsey was signed to Reprise at the time and introduced Jimmy to his producer Steve Venet. Steve and Jimmy wrote several songs together, but then Steve left Reprise. He was replaced by Jimmy Bowen and by September 1963, Jimmy was signed and recorded his first album.
Backing Jimmy on “Summer Holiday” was Leon Russell on piano, Glen Campbell on guitar and Hal Blaine on drums. While I enjoyed his cover of the title track, I chose to put the original by Cliff Richard in rotation on our play list, the Honor Roll of Hits.
Jimmy recorded many great Teen sides during his stint at Reprise, with “What Kind Of Girl Are You” being one of my favorites. I liked the Bobby Vee-like arrangement and Jimmy’s voice seemed to be a perfect fit for the song.
Jimmy had an impact on country music after Bread disbanded. He teamed up with Randy Meisner and Billy Swan to form Black Tie. They hit the country charts with the Buddy Holly penned single “Learning The Game”. He hit the Country charts three more times in the early 90’s with the group The Remingtons.
James Griffin died of cancer on January 13, 2005. He is survived by his wife Marti, daughter Alexis and son Jacob. This multi-talented singer, writer and producer will be missed. In addition to this song, listen for “She Used To Be Mine”, “My Baby Made Me Cry”, and “Running To You” on TUNEDEX MEMORIES.