Jimmy's career began in earnest in 1997 after being signed to SONY S2 records and Universal Music Publishing (previously MCA) in 1994. The first single release 'Are you Jimmy Ray?' - accompanied by a critically acclaimed 'retro' styled music video performed well in the UK, US and the rest of the world.
The track peaked at #13 in the UK chart in October '97 and the following year smashed into the US billboard Hot 100 chart at #26 going on to peak at #13 in the Hot 100 and into the top 10 sales chart. Jimmy still holds what is now a 18-year record for the highest starting chart position for a UK act's debut single – a feat unmatched even by superboyband 'One Direction' who entered the chart at #28.
The success of the single in the US – which sold over 500,000 copies earning Jimmy a 'Recording Industry Association of America Certified Gold sales Award' and a 'American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers Award' - led to live performances on some of US TV's biggest shows – The Tonight Show with host Jay Leno, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, The Ricki Lake Show, The View and countless other TV & radio slots across the length & breadth of the US. Back in the UK Jimmy appeared on the long-running music show 'Top of the Pops', The National Lottery show as well as many other appearances and performances on all the Major TV & radio channels.
The success of Jimmy's music in North America carried on across the border into Canada earning him a second gold record, this time marking 50,000+ sales of the eponymously titled debut album in Canada alone. Throughout '97 & '98 Jimmy travelled the rest of the world on promotional tours taking in Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, all the major countries of Europe & Central America.
At the time of writing, the 'comeback' album tentatively titled 'Live to Fight Another Day' will feature 13 songs comprising 10 brand-new originals, 2 cover versions (Elvis Presley, Johnnie Ray) and one re-make of the smash hit debut 'Are you Jimmy Ray?' the new version of which is entitled 'Who Wants to Know?' (which plays off of a key lyric from the original song.)
In keeping with Jimmy's earlier material and his own musical loves & heritage, the new album has a very strong 'retro' Rock'n'Roll flavour to it. In various places across the album you will hear the 1960's surf sound ('Things Start Moving'), Elvis Presley-esque Rock'n'Roll from the 50's & 70's eras ('They Don't Make 'em Like They Used To', 'My Wish'), atmospheric doo-wap-inspired balladeering ('I Love you (in the Back of my Mind)'), 'Wall of Sound' homages ('Who Wants to Know?', 'Dangerous Feeling'), Country-Trance music (seriously! 'There Will Always Be Someone Who Doesn't Like You'), jammin' torch songs ('Soliloquy of a Fool'), punchy prohibition-era pop ('Live to Fight Another Day'), Georgie Fame with synths ('Stack it Up'), devilishness in double-dose ('(You're the) Devil in Disguise', '13') and a big old dollop of Americana in the sentimental 'Back to the Country'. The sessions also produced an honest rendition of the original version of 'Sex for Beginners' from his first album with just voice & acoustic guitar.
Live version of 'Devil in Disguise' from a 2016 charitable event.