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jimi jamison

Jimmy Wayne Jamison was born in Mississippi in 1951. A day after his birth, his mother moved him to Memphis Tennessee, which Jamison regarded as his native home and settled there for the remainder of his adult life.

He made his recording debut at the age of 16 with The Debuts with the single 'If I Cry', released in 1968.

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A few years later he sang vocals for the progressive rock artist David Beaver & The Combinations who released an eponymous album in 1973.

Jamison's rich golden voice really came to fruition when he formed the Memphis hard rock act Target who released two albums, 'Target' in 1976 and 'Captured' a year later.

In 1983 he joined the heavier Cobra for the album 'First Strike' and by this time Jimi Jamison was in demand as a session vocalist singing backing vocals for such artists as ZZ Top, Joe Walsh, Krokus and Christian duo Degarmo and Key who he continued to work with into the 90s.

jimi jamison

Jamison hit the world stage when he was asked to join Survivor to replace Dave Bickler. Survivor's popularity had been on the wane after their global smash of 'Eye Of The Tiger' from the 'Rocky III' film.

His first album with Survivor, 1984's 'Vital Signs', catapulted the band back into the Top Ten Billboard charts with the singles 'I Can't Hold Back', 'High On You' and the ballad 'The Search Is Over'.

Following this success, Survivor were asked yet again by Sylvester Stallone to provide the theme song for his next movie 'Rocky IV'. The single 'Burning Heart' proved to be yet another huge global hit with lyrics that focused on the Cold War tension of "East versus West".

Jamison recorded two more albums with Survivor, 'When Seconds Count' in 1986 and the less commercial 'Too Hot To Sleep' two years later. Following the disappointing low sales of the last album Survivor temporarily split.

In 1989 Jimi Jamison was a surprising but inspiring choice to replace Ian Gillan in Deep Purple, however his own management team prevented this from happening insisting that Jamison focused on his own solo debut 'When Love Comes Down' which eventually came out in 1991.

Jamison's voice was heard globally once more when he co-wrote and sang on 'I'm Always Here' which was the theme tune for the syndicated series of the popular beech life drama 'Baywatch'.

In the new century Jimi Jamison flirted in and out of Survivor recording one album with them in 2006 with 'Reach'. He made albums with former Survivor member Jim Peterik and later with Toto's Bobby Kimball.

His last recordings were a well recieved effort in 'Never Too Late' which came out in 2012.

In 2014 Jamison was back touring with Survivor sharing vocals with Dave Bickler and they were due to perform in the UK in what would have been Survivor's first ever gigs on the isles. Although British fans will always fondly remember Jimi Jamison's unforgettable show winning performances at the Firefest.

jimi jamison

Jimmy Wayne Jamison 23th August 1951 to 31st August 2014

*************** "Jimi and I got to know each other over the last 20 years and I am shattered. Sometimes the only way I know how to grieve is through writing. I've spent this last week composing this tribute - which he essentially wanted me to write strangely enough. I wanted to send it to you as your obit for him was hands down the coolest and most kickass one I've read."
Gail Whitmore
Click here to read Gail's tribute...



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