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Jimmy Radcliffe


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James Radcliffe was born on November 18, 1936, in New York City. There he attended school and the All Souls Episcopal Church, where he was an altar boy and choir member. As a teen he worked for a year at the Jewelry Sales Corp. on 44 Street from September 1952.

Jim enlisted in the airforce in 1954, immediately signing with the entertaintment corp. He sang lead with a five man group group called The Fascinators, and sang solo accompanying himself on guitar. In 1957 he made his television debut on the armed forces network in Germany, the same network on which Elvis Presley would appear a year later.

Upon leaving the service in 1958, he put an act together with some of the other street corner crooners of his teen years playing local clubs and nighthalls. By 1959 he had gained a reputation for his stage performance and had recorded a couple of demos of his own material, acquiring some radio play. This led to his signing with Aaron Schroeder, who had just founded Musicor Records with then United Artists president, Art Talmedge. He along with Aaron, Wally Gold and Al Kooper were house writers for January Music.

Predictably, Jim’s first record appeared on the Musicor label. “Twist Calypso” was designed to capitalize on the West Indian sound sparked by Harry Belafonte’s 1956 “Calypso” album. Both sides of the record were written by Jim and Phil Stern, his longest song writing partner. Their collaborations lasted until 1970 when they wrote “Everybody Needs Love” for the Harlem Globertrotters.


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