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Jimmy Payne



Photograph © Jim Glaser

Jimmy Payne - the man, his world and his music.

This is what his close friend and song writing colleague, Jim Glaser, has to say about him:

JIMMY PAYNE is a tall and lean native of Southeast Missouri in the United States. He was once firmly implanted in its cotton fields, once lost in the mists of spray paint in St. Louis, once a soldier climbing the hills of Yakima, Washington, and at one time or another has been nearly everything, except what his heart loved and his soul survived on: A singer of Country Music.

With this love in his heart and his mind set on singing, he pulled his roots from the cotton fields with the intent of transplanting himself in Nashville, Tennessee – the home of Country music – where he would be close enough to at least see what the music business was all about, even if he couldn't touch it.

But just as music had touched him, his music touched the hearts of everyone who listened to him sing. Once you hear him sing you feel you know him, and once you know him you love him. You love him not just because he's one of the greatest people you've ever met, but because he is sincere and gives everything he can give with each performance of each song he sings.

Jimmy Payne has a talent that captivates the listener and they are never disappointed. His heart is always in his music. He is a true singer of songs.

JIMMY PAYNE is undoubtedly one of the greatest story-telling songwriters in country music history as this album ("Pieces Of Life") conclusively reveals. There have been over 200 recordings of Jimmy Payne songs.

Jimmy's interest in country music inspired him to learn guitar at the age of sixteen. Whilst still in his teens, he and his niece, Betty, had their own radio show on station KTCB in Malden, Missouri. Encouraged by the renowned songwriter Jack Campbell, Jimmy remembers how Jack would often stop by and help Jimmy tune his guitar. Jack had written some quality songs for many people including Jimmy "You Are My Sunshine" Davis and the Singing Rambos.

It seemed like Jimmy's musical ambitions were going to take a back seat when he was 'called up' by Uncle Sam for Army service. However, the opposite happened as it brought him into contact with Chuck Glaser of the Glaser Brothers. This meeting led Jimmy to becoming lead guitarist in Chuck's band in Fort Lewis, Washington. Chuck told Jimmy to contact him when he got out of the Army and join him in Nashville.

After leaving the Army Jimmy returned to St. Louis, playing music there and visiting Nashville occasionally until Chuck secured his signature for a five-year contract with the Epic label. Before this, he had already made his recording debut in 1962 with "Ladder To The Sky" on Kark Records, with the Glaser Brothers as backing singers. Several label moves followed where he recorded "Rusty Old Halo," "Every Little Pretty Girl" and "Don't Try To Tell Me," which he co-wrote with Jim Glaser. However, Jimmy's recording success story really took off when he joined Epic Records and he entered the country charts with "What Does It Take (To Keep A Woman Like You Satisfied)" in 1966. This was followed by "Woman, Woman" in 1967 which he co-wrote with Jim Glaser. Gary Puckett and the Union Gap took it to the top of the charts, as the song became a big hit worldwide.

In 1969 Jimmy had his first hit as a singer with "L.A. Angels." Other hits included "Ramblin' Man," "Where Has All The Love Gone" and "Turnin' My Love On." He graced the British pop charts with "Sweet Fantasy" and his popularity was sufficient to provide British album releases on the Pye, Word and RCA labels following well-received tours in the UK, at the Peterborough Country Music Festival and the Wembley Country Music Festival. In the United States he played the Grand Ole Opry, the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas and the Wheeling Jamboree in West Virginia. He also enjoyed international success with visits to Japan, the Philippines, Norway and the Netherlands.

Jimmy married Virginia Holmes in 1969, the sister of Bill Holmes, bass player with the Nashville Studio Band. The Payne's made their home in Nashville, with their daughter Amanda, where he has his own recording studio and publishing company specializing in vintage 'pop' hits and new copyrights.

When asked about his ambitions in life he said, "I guess my goal is to be successful enough as an entertainer and a songwriter to provide a good living for my family and a good income when I am older. And with God's help I intend to write more hit songs and do more touring in Europe."  When further pressed and asked whether he would wish to be a superstar, Jimmy stretched out his long legs, pushed his trademark flat hat further down on his head, flashed his wide grin and with that Southern drawl in his voice, answered as though somebody has asked him if he'd like a cup of coffee…. "Oh, I'd take it!"   (Paul Davis.)  


Photograph by Susan Myers

JIMMY PAYNE was born in Leachville, Arkansas, in the United States. The family moved to Gideon, Missouri in 1944 and Jimmy enjoyed Country music and singing in church. He had a gospel program on the radio on Saturdays and was picking cotton during the week. In 1957, he moved to St. Louis to work as a professional Country singer. He met Chuck Glaser whilst in the U.S. Army and went on to play guitar with Chuck's army band. Chuck Glaser then took over Jimmy's management when he formed his own band, the Payne Gang. He made several recordings including "Ladder To The Sky," "What Does It Take (To Keep A Woman Like You Satisfied)" and "My Most Requested Song."

Jimmy Payne first appeared on the famous Grand Ole Opry in 1966. He cut several singles including his own composition "Woman, Woman" which had national success in 1967 when it was recorded by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. He continued to have only minor success as a solo artist. He did, however, continue to have success as a songwriter with Charley Pride recording Jimmy's composition "My Eyes Can Only See As Far As You" which became a number one selling single in the States. Jimmy wrote the popular title track of his gospel album "Walk With Me The Rest Of The Way" with Jim Glaser. In 1986 he recorded a duet with Tompall Glaser titled "Ugly Women And Pickup Trucks."

More about Jimmy

Jimmy Payne is an entertainer who comes from the heart of rural America.

He was born in Arkansas and raised in Missouri and is the youngest of eleven children.

He learned to play the guitar at the age of sixteen and whilst still in his teens he and his niece Betty had their own radio show on KTCB in Malden, Missouri.

In 1966 he signed a five-year contract with Epic Records. His first single with them – "What Does It Take" - became a hit in a few markets and sold several thousand records but never gathered enough momentum to break into the Billboard national charts. Six months later his close friend Jim Glaser was working on a new song and asked Jimmy to help finish it. They worked on it all night and by morning it was finished. In a couple weeks Jimmy recorded it for his second single under the direction of legendary producer Billy Sherrill. That song was "Woman, Woman" and a couple of months later his record was playing on a radio station in Los Angeles when Columbia Records producer Jerry Fuller heard it and took it to a group he had just signed - Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. The song has since been recorded around a hundred times.

In 1969 Jimmy recorded the Dick Feller song "L.A.Angels" taking it to number 21 in the national charts. Other national charts records were "Ramblin' Man," "Where Has All The Love Gone," "Tonight's The Night Miss Sally Testifies" and "Turnin' My Love On."

Prestigious venues Jimmy has played include the Grand Ole Opry, the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, the Wheeling Jamboree in West Virginia, the Wembley Festival and the Peterborough Festival in England.

In 1974 and 1975 he was voted "Most Promising Artist" to the British audiences by Billboard/Music week.

Also in 1975 he graced the British Pop Charts with a Hoyt Axton song titled "Sweet Fantasy."

Jimmy's international success is well documented with tours in Japan, the Philippines, Norway, the Netherlands, Great Britain and South Korea.

As a songwriter Jimmy Payne has had songs recorded by Charley Pride, Ray Price, Bill Anderson, Glen Campbell, Grandpa Jones, Jim Glaser, Tompall and the Glaser Brothers, Cal Smith, Connie Smith, Jo-El Sonnier, Jeanne Pruett, Tammy Wynette, Dottie West, Daniel O'Donnell, Frank Ifield, Frank Jennings and many others.

Charley Pride had a number one million selling hit with "My Eyes Can Only See As Far As You" that was written by Jimmy and Naomi Martin.

Jimmy has recorded for Epic, Vanguard, Veejay, RCA, Jasmine, Ocean, Word, Cinnamon, Lyco, Ric, Sounds Upon Cumberland, Kik and K-Ark,

In 1969 Jimmy married his long-time sweetheart Virginia (Jo) and they are still living in the same home they bought the year that they married. The have a lovely daughter, Amanda who, with her husband Matt, lives close by.
His latest CD "When Mama Prayed" (released February 2003) marks the ninth album project for Jimmy.

Jimmy's Homepage http://www.jimmypayne.org/index.html

Listen to Jimmy's Music  http://www.jimmypayne.org/music.html

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