He is a
conductor, musician, arranger and producer born in Fort Myers, Florida, who started his career in music when he
played the guitar and keyboards with Don Henley in the Texan group Felicity
Felicity moved to Los Angeles, changed their name to Shiloh
and recorded their debut self-titled album with Kenny Rogers as the
producer. Following the album,
however, the group decided to go their own ways and by 1972 Jim has joined
the group known as Uncle Jim’s Music in time to record their 2nd
By 1973 Jim
was playing piano and arranging the strings for albums by the Eagles, which
he continued to do until 1980, and he also wrote the arrangements for the
strings as well as the horns for two of Linda Ronstadt’s
By the middle
of the 1970s he had also ventured into the world of production and this led
to him producing albums for many successful acts of the day including three
of Anne Murray’s platinum albums and the Grammy Award winning “You
Needed Me”. He worked
with her right through into the 1980s producing two CMA Award winning
albums which also went gold.
By now he had
made his name with the Californian sound of the 1970s and because much of
that sound leant towards country music he started to become known for his
work with country music artists such as Hank Williams Jr.
influence alongside a variety of other genres in his music pulled him to Nashville where he became Head of A&R at
Warner Bros. Nashville and was made President of the company in 1984. This didn’t hold him back from
continuing to produce and arrange further successful albums and he was also
instrumental in Warner’s expansion into a Hispanic label, Christian,
Progressive and Gospel divisions.
In 1989 Cashbox named him their Producer of the Year for his work
with Crystal Gayle and the following year he was the recipient of Time
Warner’s Andrew Heiskell Community Service
Award. During the 1990s he was also the recipient of the Anti-Defamation
League Johnny Cash Americanism Award and the Leadership Music Bridge Award.
In 2004 he
retired from the business and move to Hawaii but his retirement was very shirtlived as he went straight back into working with
music when he started became a contributor to the work by local artists and
created the MELE program at the Honolulu Community College. He also began a music business programme
that was organised between Nashville’s Belmont University and the University if Hawaii.
Needless to say the pull of production took him right back to Nashville in 2010.
The artists he
has worked with during the years are countless but a few of them include John
Anderson, Kim Carnes, Jackie DeShannon, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones,
Glenn Frey, Janie Fricke, Crystal Gayle, Faith Hill, Brenda Lee, Gordon
Lightfoot, Mac McAnally, Michael Martin Murphey, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Juice Newton, Mark
O’Connor, The Osmonds, Charlie Rich, B.J.
Thomas, Randy Travis, Travis Tritt, Jennifer Warnes, Trisha Yearwood and
As you can
imagine the albums he has worked on during his career as a musician,
arranger, conductor and/or producer are far too numerous to mention, but a
selection of them include Hat Trick by
America, Sevens by Garth Brooks, One of These Nights by The Eagles, No Fun Aloud by Glenn Frey, Duets by Emmylou Harris, The Good Side of Tomorrow by Dave Loggins, Let’s
Keep It That Way by Anne Murray, The
Tour Collection by Dolly Parton, Don’t Cry Now by Linda Ronstadt, Stranger
in Town by Bob Seger and There’s a Song in This by Uncle Jim’s Music and Montana Café by Hank Williams
his work in production and is a Senior Fellow at Vanderbilt University’s Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy. He is also the Founding President of
the organisation Leadship Music and supporting music
tuition for low income families he is a past President and Original Fund
Raising chairman of the W.O. Smith Nashville Community Music School.
Bob Seger recordings
Feel Like a
Capitol P-A-5077 (S97843A) (US 45)