Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Jimmy Holiday born 24 July 1934

Jimmy Holiday (24 July 1934, Sallis, Mississippi – 15 February 1987, Iowa City) was an American R&B singer and songwriter. He recorded for Everest Records in the 1960s and later moved to the New Orleans label Minit Records. This versatile singer first came to prominence in 1963 with the self-penned ‘How Can I Forget?’ which was covered at the same time by Ben E. King.

A soul singer whose success as a recording artist never matched his success as a songwriter, Jimmy Holiday is best-known for penning "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" along with Jackie DeShannon and Randy Myers. By the time that song appeared in 1969, Holiday had been grinding away at the soul circuit for over a decade, a trek that culminated in a hit in 1963 with "How Can I Forget" and then a contract with the New Orleans-based R&B label Minit in 1966. Despite strong work, Holiday never became a star and faded away in the '70s.

Born on July 24, 1934 in Durant, Mississippi, Jimmy Holiday was raised in Iowa. After flirting with a career as a boxer, he devoted himself to music, first playing alto saxophone in jazz combos before transitioning to writing and singing R&B. He released his first single, "Voice of the Drums," on the Los Angeles-based Four Star in 1958, which was unsuccessful and it took him a while before he wound up on Everest Records in the early '60s. Everest put out Holiday's "How Can I Forget" in 1963, and it unexpectedly took off, climbing all the way to eight on Billboard's R&B charts while reaching 57 on the Hot 100. Further singles for Everest didn't go anywhere and he hopped around recording for a number of smaller imprints -- KIT, Tip Records, Diplomacy -- before signing with Minit in 1966.


Minit was where Holiday recorded the bulk of his catalog. "Baby I Love You," his first single for the label, wound up peaking at 21 in 1966 and while that wound up being his biggest hit at Minit, his work at the label is generally held in high regard among soul aficionados. 
Clydie King and Jimmy
A full album called The Turning Point showed up in 1966 and it went to 25 on the Billboard R&B charts.

Jimmy was a good duet partner with Clydie King and in 1967 released Ready, Willing and Able. The track was a floor filler and a major hit on the UK Manchester soul scene. He also released a"Everybody Needs Help" which went to 36 and the funky "Spread Your Love" did one better in 1968, peaking at 35, but by that point his career was starting to slow. Worse, his health was starting to go: he collapsed after a concert in June 1968 and needed to have open heart surgery. 

He wound up spending much of the next year writing instead of performing, but he returned to recording in 1969 with "I'm Gonna Use What I Got," while continuing to work with DeShannon and Myers. Holiday's final single for Minit, "A Man Ain't Nothin' Without a Woman," showed up in 1970 and, like his 1969 sides, it failed to do business so his time with the label came to an end.

Holiday next recorded for Dial, releasing "Save Me" in 1971 and when that didn't catch, a fallow period followed before he showed up in the mid-'70s on Ray Charles' label Crossover. His single for the label, "When I'm Loving You," also didn't catch attention so Holiday decided to concentrate on writing. Eventually, he moved back to Iowa, where he died of heart failure on February 15, 1987.

His Minit recordings have showed up on budget-line CD compilations over the years, but Ace's 2015 set Spread Your Love: The Complete Minit Singles 1965-1970 collected them all and offered the first biography courtesy of Tony Rounce's liner notes." (Info mainly from AllMusic)

Here’s a clip of Jimmy on the Shivaree Show December 1965 


boppinbob said...

For “ Jimmy Holiday ‎– How Can I Forget - The Everest Sessions” go here:


1 How Can I Forget
2 Janet
3 Don't Laugh
4 Poor Boy
5 Country Girl
6 I've Got A Woman
7 Allison
8 I Lied
9 I Believe In Love
10 One More Thing
11 Hollywood
12 Ol' Man River

A big thank you to Audiotut and YouTube for mp3’s

Jimmy Holiday is today perhaps better remembered as a prolific songwriter although he came to fame firstly as a performer in 1963. He attained a Billboard Soul chart placing at No 8 with his Everest label single," How Can I Forget'" The more famous Ben E. King on Atlantic Records also covered the song but Jimmy had the bigger hit, also charting his original single at No 57 on the US pop chart. This was an excellent pop showing for a deep Soul performance of this kind. This album followed fairly quickly and soon established Jimmy on the Soul scene. This reissue is the original album in its entirety. All of the tracks were also released on six Everest singles. This CD presents a unique opportunity to hear the early work of a unique talent.

For “Jimmy Holiday - Spread Your Love: The Complete Minit Singles 1965-1970” go here:


1. Baby I Love You
2. You Won't Get Away
3. The Turning Point
4. I'm Gonna Move To The City
5. In The Eyes Of My Girl
6. Give Me Your Love
7. Everybody Needs Help
8. Ready, Willing And Able With Clydie King - Jimmy Holiday & Clydie King
9. We Got A Good Thing Going - Jimmy Holiday & Clydie King
10. I'm Gonna Help Hurry My Brothers Home
11. We Forgot About Love
12. The Beauty Of A Girl In Love
13. Everything Is Love
14. Spread Your Love
15. We Got A Good Thing Going (Solo Version)
16. I'm Gonna Use What I Got (To Get What I Need)
17. I Don't Want To Hear It
18. I Found A New Love
19. Baby Boy's In Love
20. If You've Got The Money, I've Got The Time
21. A Man Ain't Nothin' Without A Woman
22. I'm In Love With You
23. Yesterday Died
24. Would You Like To Love Me
25. I ve Got To Live While I Can
26. Nobody's Fault But Your Own

A big thank you to King Cake @ deepsouthernsoul blog for active link

A great songwriter and a true hero among lovers of deep and southern 60s soul, Jimmy Holiday s reputation rests largely on the two dozen plus sides that he recorded for Minit between 1966 and 1970. Spread Your Love is the first CD to bring together all 26 of Jimmy's Minit recordings (including two duets cut with label mate Clydie King). Although most of Jimmy's best-known songs were written for others, including Ray Charles and Jackie DeShannon, he always saved something special for himself. The Turning Point and Everybody Needs Help have been collector favourites for almost 50 years now and their popularity will surely be enhanced by this CD.. Jimmy's fans will need no exhortations to buy this. For those who don't know him so well, the voyage of discovery awaits...

So, Spread Your Love: The Complete Minit Singles winds up as a requiem for a soul singer who never got his due and still deserves more credit than he gets: this is fine stuff.

Unknown said...

Dear From the Vaults. Thank you for drawing people's attention to Jimmy Holiday. I love Jimmy Holiday. I love his raspy soulful voice. He is better known as a song-writer than as a singer. My all time favourite Jimmy Holiday track is "Love Me One More Time" which was the b-side to "The New Breed" on Diplomacy Records from 1965. It is a very rare and very expensive 7" single. It has never been officially released on CD though it has been released on bootlegs. Great website. Thank you. From: Johnnie K in Auckland New Zealand