Tales of rock, muso photography, jazz and blues. And launching a little band called Black Sabbath along the way...
Jim Simpson has done an awful lot in his time. He's the man who shot a ton of 60s and 70s rock stars. You can see his shots online and often in exhibitions around town. Little Richard never looked lovelier.
Jim was key to the Birmingham music scene in the 60s, creating Henry's Blueshouse, the venue where Black Sabbath first came to prominence, and going on to be their first manager. Students of Rock history and muso management take note. Jim is a tactful man, but there is much to be learned here.
After all the Sabbath palaver? There were a number of other bands, taking in some of the finest musicians, many still playing around town. A record label, Big Bear, emerged, specialising in original blues; 35 years of Jazz Festivals; and a lot more. Jim's written a lovely book; there is a comprehensive reissue programme going on with Big Bear records. And Henry's Blueshouse rides again in Birmingham.
The label: Big Bear Music and some history The book: Don't worry 'bout the Bear
Henry's Blueshouse facebook page A very useful 'early days' section is on Black Sabbath's wikipedia page. The Birmingham, Sandwell and Westside Jazz Festival website
Lives in Music celebrates people who have spent a lifetime in music. They may be famous; they may be people who have simply spent their lives working at their craft for the love of it. They all have stories. Lives in Music is a Radio To Go production. See and listen to all of Series 1 here. Or search Lives in Music on Spotify or iTunes.
The theme music for Series 1 is by local band Big Q Fish. 'Boksburg Jive Toon' was written by Brian Neil, and recorded at the Jam House, Birmingham, in 2017.
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