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Jimmy Work (29th March birthday)

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:24 am
by john poole
Jimmy Work; "Honky-tonk" singer-songwriter, born 29th March, 1924 (Akron, Ohio) - I’m hoping in the absence of anything I can find online to the contrary that he may still be with us, in which case he is 93 today, although the site with the most information about him (see below) does have his d.o.b. as the 23rd (all other sources I’ve found have the 29th).

‘Tennessee Border’ by Jimmy Work & his Border Boys (1948) was his first release - he decided to record his song himself after not being able to find anyone else who wished to do so.Things changed the following year when a number of cover versions emerged, Red Foley’s being the most successful. Hank Williams also performed the song for a radio broadcast, released on record after Hank’s death.
https://secondhandsongs.com/performance/66552

‘Making Believe’ became his best known song - his own version was a #5 country hit, although outsold by Kitty Wells’ cover. Notable later versions included amongst many others, Ray Charles (Modern Sounds of Country and Western Volume 2 & B-side of Busted) and Emmylou Harris (Luxury Liner LP & hit single)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOsTqzoOwEg
https://secondhandsongs.com/performance/11879

The only UK release of Making Believe at the time appears to have been on an E.P. “Country Songs - Work Style” which also including the B-side ‘Just Like Downtown’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiZU6CqT5Jk
http://www.45cat.com/record/red1039

‘Rock Island Line’ (1956) - one of only a couple of songs he appears to have recorded that he didn’t write, credited to Lonnie Donegan and released in the same month as Donegan's in the US - a good version, I think.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sztaBRI6jqo

He gave up performing at the end of the 50s but continued to write songs. Bear Family Records have reissued his complete recordings (48 tracks)

‘Tennessee Border’ by Red Foley (with “Thumbs” Carllile)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nvldnr6rADA

‘Making Believe’ by Kitty Wells
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rP1pv7J_Ok

http://www.bopping.org/jimmy-work-tenne ... 1954-1956/

Re: Jimmy Work (29th March birthday)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:12 pm
by Hugh Weldon
Always thought 'Making Believe' was a great country song.

The Louvin Bros also did a nice version.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MfqCupGf3I