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Gilstrap, Jim (10th November 1946-Present)

He is a singer born in Pittsburg, Texas, later moving to California, who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War.  On his return he started to work for the Postal Service but wanting to explore avenues in music he was accepted into the Doodletown Pipers, followed later with The Cultures and then The Reason Why.

He first made his name in music when he became a member of Stevie Wonder’s backing group Wonderlove and sang the opening lines for his “You Are The Sunshine of My Life”.  He followed this in 1974 as a solo artist and saw success with the hit song “Swing Your Daddy” with the later less successful “House of Strangers”, “Put Out the Fire”,and “Move Me”.

Going back to working with a band he joined the group Side Effect who he recorded “Run, Run, Run” with and then sang solo on Quincy Jones’ “Buffalo Soldier”.

Branching out as a session singer which he remains doing until the present day, he has been a sought after backing vocalist for many singers and groups such as Patti Austin, The Blackbyrds, Elkie Brooks, Michael Bolton, Brothers Johnson, Jackson Browne, Stanley Clarke, Celine Dion, Willy DeVille, George Duke, Aretha Franklin, Jose Feliciano, Art Garfunkel, Leon Haywood, Thelma Houston, James Ingram, The Jacksons, Gladys Knight, Erich Kunzel, Patti LaBelle, Stacy Lattisaw, Peggy Lee, Linda Lewis, Kenny Loggins, Melissa Manchester, Country Joe McDonald, Aaron Neville, Dolly Parton, Teddy Pendergrass, Martha Reeves, Minnie Riperton, Seals & Crofts, Syreeta, Stanley Turrentine, Luther Vandross and Bill Withers to name a few.

Albums he has featured on over the years are far too numerous to mention but include his own Swing Your Daddy and Love Talk as well as Rapture by Anita Baker, Give Me the Night by George Benson, Genius Loves Company by Ray Charles, Take It to the Limit by Norman Connors, Crowded House by Crowded House, In My Lifetime by Neil Diamond , Dr. Heckle & Mr. Jive by England Dan & John Ford Coley, Blue Lights in the Basement by Roberta Flack, Christmas Album by David Foster , Lite Me Up by Herbie Hancock, Whitney by Whitney Houston, Ultimate Collection by Michael Jackson, Best Of… by Al Jarreau, Fox by Elton John , King of Blues: 1989 by B.B. King, Vuelve by Ricky Martin, That’s What Friends Are For by Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams , Totally Hot by Olivia Newton John, Back to Front by Lionel Richie, Living in the U.S.A. by Linda Ronstadt , Patrice by Patrice Rushen, Spirits Dancing in the Flesh by Santana, Leo by Leo Sayer , Silk Degrees by Bozz Scaggs , Goodnight Vienna by Ringo Starr , Best Of… by Candi Staton, Songbird by Barbra Streisand, Dad Loves His Work by James Taylor , Songs of the Beatles by Sarah Vaughan, Aquarela Do Brazil by Dionne Warwick, Innervisions by Stevie Wonder , Living With War by Neil Young, Crossing by Paul Young and the soundtracks of Anastasia, Cats Don’t Dance, Corinna Corinna, Grease, King Kong, Meteor Man and Three Days of the Condor.

In the world of television he sang the theme songs for the shows Good Times and the animated Tale Spin.

David Foster recordings
O Holy Night (Adolphe Charles Adam )
Interscope 0 7567 92295 2 6 (CD – The Christmas Album)
VocalsMichael Crawford

Johnny Mathis & Deniece Wiliams recording
(Barry Gibb/Robin Gibb)
S CBS 6164B (UK 45)

Here he is with his hit “Swing Your Daddy”…