Jim is best loved for his million selling hits “I Won’t Let You Down”, “I Should Have Known Better”, “Hi Ho Silver” and his beautifully haunting voice.
Born in Glasgow’s East End, Jim, heavily influenced by the voices of Ray Charles and Otis Redding, joined his first band at the age of 14. Moving to London, he formed the band Bandit and went on to sign to Clive Davis’ Arista Records. This brought his voice to the attention of the Godfather of British Blues, Alexis Korner, who invited him to work with him on his “Just Easy” album. You can listen to some of Jim’s work with Bandit and Alexis Korner here.
Jim was then approached to go to Los Angeles to form a band with Earl Slick (guitarist on Bowie’s “Young Americans”) and Carmine Appice from Rod Stewart’s band. All three went on to write and record with Eddie Kramer, the legendary producer of Jimmi Hendrix. While in LA, Jim was asked to return to London to hook up with Tony Hymas and Simon Phillips from the Jeff Beck band and so Ph.D were formed. The first single taken from “Ph.D The Album”, “I Won’t Let You Down” went on to sell millions and become the classic song that it is today. The second album “Is it Safe?” also included a European hit, “I Didn’t Know”, which featured Jeff Beck on guitar.
When Ph.D went their separate ways, Jim signed to A&M Records. Taken from his 1984 solo album “Double Crossed” the single “I Should Have Known Better” went straight to No.1 and went on to be nominated for an Ivor Novello award. The song’s success became synonymous with the Band Aid single released at the same time when Jim urged the public to buy the charity single and not his own.
His next single “Hi Ho Silver” taken from his second solo album “Desire for Freedom” scored Jim another top ten hit.
In 1993 Jim was approached by Polygram records to write and record an album, and teaming up with Graham Lyle they released his top twenty eponymous album that year. After which, Jim went on the road to perform his songs acoustically in art centres across the country ending up at the Edinburgh Festival where The Scotsman described him, in their 5 star review, as Scotland’s answer to Ray Charles and a writer of hidden depth.
In the late nineties Jim met up with saxophonist Snake Davis (MD of M People), and discovering a shared love of blues and soul they joined forces and performed together to critical acclaim. Through Snake, Jim then met hammond player extraordinaire Paul Birchall and together they set about writing and recording Jim’s album “SOULED AND HEALED”, released by Hypertension Records.
2011 sees the release of Jim’s soul covers project “City of Soul” featuring the cream of Scottish musicians, with all proceeds benefiting childrens’ charity ‘Cash For Kids’.
And so a life in music goes on…..
Jim Diamond 28- 09-1951 – 10-10-2015