Jimmy James & The Vagabonds - 31st March 2001

Jimmy James in action at the Cali-R

On Saturday 31st March 2001 we were truly entertained by Jimmy James & The Vagabonds plus supporting act George Anthony as Al Green.

With "Now is the time" and "I'll go where the music takes me" Sid Hudson presented the night with his special touch of Cali-R magic.

Louie Martin & Jelly Bean were as popular as usual.

George Anthone supports Jimmy James & the Vagabonds
George Anthony as Al Green


Jimmy James was born in September 1940 in Jamaica, his real name was Michael F James and he enjoyed local success with two self-composed singles "Bewildered and Blue" and "Come Softly To Me", before arriving in England in 1964, when he joined the multi-racial Vagabonds, and the new unit became a leading attraction at UK soul venues during the 60's, including London's Flamingo and Whisky-A-Go-Go.

Jimmy James & The Vagabonds were at the forefront, along with other legends of the era, such as Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band, Herbie Goins & The Nightimers, Zoot Money, Carl Douglas & The Big Stampede and Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames.

Although a that time they failed to secure a substantial chart hit The Vagabonds' early albums were impressive, infectious, reinterpretations of contemporary releases, featuring material by The Impressions, The Miracles and Bobby Bland.

They eventually secured a record contract with Pye Records and after a few single releases and some successful albums, they hit the charts with "Red Red Wine". This Neil Diamond composition was, of course, a more recent day hit for UB40.

In 1976, alongside another set of Vagabonds, Jimmy James returned to the charts, in the heart of the disco era, with "I'll Go Where The Music Takes Me", which was produced by Biddu, famous for his exploits with Tina Charles on "I Love to Love" and "Dance Little Lady Dance." It was the follow-up, however, "Now Is The Time", which reached the Uk top 5, giving him his biggest chart success.

Jimmy James & The Vagabonds are still a major attraction today in the nightclubs and discotheques of the UK and Europe, with his foot stomping all action show. He also makes several TV appearances solo, normally performing his 70's hits.

A mind blowing experience!


Back to the Cali-Rchive

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