Jim Capaldi (2 August 1944 – 28 January 2005) was an English musician and songwriter and a founding member of Traffic. He drummed with several famous singers and musicians, including Jimi Hendrix.Born in Evesham, Nicola James Capaldi came from a family of musicians. His paternal grandfather, Pasquale, had settled in Worcestershire after arriving from Italy. Pasquale was an accordion player, as was his son Nicola (Nick), who performed on stage and on the radio with his wife. Their son Jim started his career in local groups at the age of 14 and it was while playing at the Elbow Room, a Birmingham club, that he met and jammed with Winwood, who was on the brink of leaving the Spencer Davis Group.
Capaldi and Winwood co-wrote many of Traffic's best-known songs, including their first single, Paper Sun (1967), which captured the optimism of the first summer of love and reached No 4 in the UK chart. Tensions within the group were already apparent, however, and Capaldi later dismissed their second single, Hole In My Shoe, a winsome fantasia composed by Mason, as "pop bubblegum".
A third hit, the theme song to the film Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, preceded Mason's departure at the end of the year. Traffic continued to perform as a trio, making their US debut at Bill Graham's Fillmore East, but in the first weeks of 1969, shortly after the release of their second album, the group broke up amid the news of Winwood's announcement that he would be joining Eric Clapton in a "super group" to be known as Blind Faith. Plans for Capaldi to join them were scuppered by Clapton's management, which installed Ginger Baker in the drummer's chair.
Blind Faith lasted less than a year, and in 1970 Traffic returned to action with an album titled John Barleycorn Must Die. Well received by their old fans, it was followed by The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys, Shoot Out At The Fantasy Factory and When The Eagle Flies before they broke up again in 1974.
Capaldi's first solo album, Oh How We Danced, appeared in 1972, but a widely admired song titled Eve mystifyingly failed to give him a hit single. When he did enter the charts under his own name, it was with an imaginative version of an old Everly Brothers song, Love Hurts, which reached No 4 in 1975. He also he scored more than a half dozen chart hits in various countries, the most well-known being "That's Love" and "Shoe Shine",
In 1975 Capaldi met Aninha, a Brazilian student. They married later that year, establishing homes in Marlowe, Buckinghamshire and Ipanema. Outside his music and his environmental activism, Capaldi also assisted his wife in her work with Jubilee Action to help Brazilian street children.
Several more solo albums followed, plus one more under Traffic's name when he and Winwood got together (Wood had died in 1983) for a reunion tour in 1994. Capaldi released another solo album after the Traffic tour, 1995's Prince of Darkness and In 1998 he went out on tour with Dave Mason (which spanned the album Live: The 40,000 Headmen Tour), through the second half of the decade he was uncharacteristically quiet, not emerging with a new album until 2001's Living on the Outside, which included guest appearances from George Harrison, Paul Weller, and Gary Moore.
He remained professionally active until 2004, when Traffic were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and Capaldi and Winwood began work on a new Traffic album. The project came to a halt when Capaldi was diagnosed with stomach cancer. The disease claimed his life on January 28, 2005.He was 60 years of age.. (info mainly from The Guardian 2005)