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B i o g r a p h y
"You Must Be Losing Your Mind"
PAGE THREE: Otis Redding died in an airplane crash and a few months earlier. Darrell Banks was
killed in an altercation in Detroit. Jimmie spoke with Lloyd Price about it at the coffee shop down from
The Turntable. Jimmie was thinking about making a change in his career, Lloyd told him Joe Tex was in
NYC doing a concert and that he should talk to him. He said that Joe was thinking about making a change
too. Jimmie went over the the theater that night where Joe was appearing. He always liked listening to the
advice that Joe gave to him. It was like speaking to a minister. While Joe was preparing to go on stage
they talked. Jimmie reviewed his career with Joe telling him that he was thinking of coming off the road
and doing something different. Joe told him that he was going to become a minister of Islam. Joe
preached to me, he said "Jimmie, this ain't nothing, this is just about some money and these diamond rings
laying around. That's all this is and all the girls screaming because they want to get to the diamond rings
and the money." They both looked over at Joe's rings and money lying on the table. They spoke briefly
about Otis. They said a prayer together.
Jimmie went to Buffalo to see Al Brisbane. Al was the Program Director and on air jock at WUFO. Al
promoted Jimmie's records and produced several shows starring Jimmie. Al suggested to Jimmie to join
WUFO as a DJ. "You have the personality and everybody already knows who you are." Al told him with
confidence. Jimmie booked a few gigs in Canada. Al joined him. WUFO's signal penetrated Toronto so
Al was well known there. Solomon Burke was appearing across the street. Billy Stewart was working a
couple of blocks away. Yonge Street was packed with night clubs with a variety of acts performing. "I
would join Solomon on stage and we would rock the house. I met Billy during that weekend on Yonge a
block from Dundas and we talked for about thirty minutes. Billy talked mostly about spiritul things. His
words were all about Jesus and the spirit.
July 4th weekend of 1969, Jimmie finished the show in Toronto. Al was to go on the air that next day
and he asked Jimmie if he would go in and fill in for him. He had shown Jimmie how to operate the DJ
booth. Jimmie went on the air at WUFO as DJ. "Radio was a different world but with the same
entertainment principles. You have to fine tune your craft. Although the audience was not seen, their
response was immediate. I was on the air in mid January 1970 when a friend called from NYC and told
me that Billy Stewart was killed in a car accident. I remember dedicating "I Do Love You" to him from
everyone." WUFO was the home of many very successful DJ's. Eddie Ojay, Frankie Crocker, Jerry
Bledsoe, and Gary Byrd. Al Gee was glad to know that I had joined the ranks of being a radio personality.
Al Brisbane was transferred to Pittsburg to WAMO. Jimmie was promoted to Music Director. Jimmie
was a hit on radio. Some of the same people that he met doing his concerts came by to see him to
promote their products. He expanded his interest producing concerts in the Buffalo area. Most of the
major concerts that came through were promoted by WUFO. James Brown and Jimmie became friends.
It was so very different having record company executive calling him for support. One concert that
stands out in his mind was the one that he introduced O.J. Simpson to Buffalo. The concert featured The
Winstons. Their big hit was "Color Him Father." Jimmie was invited to The Buffalo Bills players parties.
He attended some but found out that football players are a bit wild. Jimmie composed and produced jingle
packs for all five radio stations in the Dynamic Broadcasting family.
Radio was exciting but Jimmie missed the live performing. He missed the live stage and singing. He
released "You Must Be Losing Your Mind" and "For The Sake Of Love" again. JRE was the record label.
James Brown was coming in to do a concert so he decided to discuss the fact that he was going to leave
Jimmie drove James to the concert in his sports car. James made a comment that he liked the car. On
the way to the concert they talked. Jimmie told him that he contacted Monte in Los Angeles with a plan to
relocate to LA. He offered Jimmie a job with him. Jimmie explained that he wanted to sing again. James
told him that after he got out to LA to stay in touch.
March 1971, Dyke was shot outside of a bar in Phoenix, Arizona. Darrell and Dyke memories stayed
on Jimmie's mind for a long time. Dyke was like a brother to Jimmie. They were street buddies together.
Darrell and Jimmie would get on stage at any club and try to out show, dance and sing each other.
In late spring, 1971, Jimmie joined Monte in LA. Monte was haveing great success with the Flip
Wilson Show on NBC. Hollywood was a complete different scene. Film and television were outstanding
in his mind. After my arrival in LA a month later Jack Lewis and Kenny Rankin relocated to LA.
Everybody was very busy getting their act together. Street Corner Productions and Little David Records
were never as huge as the names that represented them. Monte Kay and Jack Lewis, two pioneers in the
entertainment industry with incredible resume's. Jimmie was in the midst of greatness. Diahann Carroll
took his breath away when he first met her. "I have seen beautiful women before, but trying to find
words to describe how beautiful Diahann is, well it's just impossible. Off stage, I never saw her wear
makeup. She has a commanding presence that enhanced her beauty beyond belief. Thank you Diahann
for the opportuity and pleasure of meeting you." Jimmie complimenting a lady. Jack was producing
George Carlin, Kenny Rankin, and Tony Williams simultaneously.
Jimmie began to explore Hollywood looking for options. He met Jeanne Smith from Productions
Unlimited. Jeanne produced Jimmie in a musical variety show. He was the host. Jeanne wanted a star
attraction to appear on the first pilot. Jimmie got in touch with James Brown. James agreeed for
Productions Unlimited to tape his concert in San Diego. The production team didn't get the clearance to
film the entire show from the concert hall engineer. Jimmie and James just talked about old times as the
cameras began taping. The filiming took place before James went on stage. Jimmie was very thankful to
James for remembering their friendship.
1972 was extremely busy. Jimmie produced "A Time In The Life Of Our Love" on Spanway
Records. He set up offices in La Puente, CA. The facility consisted of Bridgetown Booking Agency,
recording studio, theatre, and several offices. The law firm was also on the property. Jimmie met with
Neal Anderson, the producer of The Red Skelton Show, to produce the next TV pilot. Neal and Jeanne
agreed on terms, but the law firm disagreed with the production fees. Jeanne received very good
responses from KKTV CH 11, Metro Media, but Jimmie didn't agree with the time slot or terms. Click to
|1971 Buffalo News New York
J i m m i e R a y e
Bio Page Three