JIM COLEGROVE has had a long and distinguished career in American music. He was born in Springfield, Ohio and began playing French horn and trumpet at age nine. He took up the guitar at age thirteen.
A few years later, in 1958, he was cofounder of the rock ’n’ roll band
Teddy & the Rough Riders, a popular group in the
Ohio-Indiana area in the early ’60s. The group had records issued on the Tilt, Huron
and MegaCity labels. Jim graduated from Fairborn High School in 1959, attended classes at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, then served as staff producer for Huron Records during the early 1960s.
When the Rough Riders broke up in 1965 Jim formed a new band called The Knights that began playing in the popular Dayton club Little Mickey’s Cocktails A-Go-Go. The Knights had former Rough Rider members Bob Brane, Denny Boyd, and Phil Ackerman in the their lineup. Doug Porter, from Sonny Flaharty's band, The Young Americans, played drums; Susan Darby, a former Mark V member, sang with the group and Mike Flaharty, another former Young American, later replaced Denny Boyd on bass. In 1966 Jim met former Mark V drummer N. D. Smart II when N. D. took the job as drummer in the band replacing Doug Porter. That fall, this group (without Susan Darby) played in New York for a couple of months but returned to Ohio together before the year was over. By early 1967 they were back on the bandstand at Little Mickey’s.
In 1967, Jim and N. D. left Ohio together. He switched from guitar to bass and was a member of two New York
City bands. One group, Bo Grumpus, released an LP on the
Atco label, and the other band, Jolliver Arkansaw, released
an LP on the Bell label in the late 1960s. The late Felix Pappalardi who also produced the Youngbloods, Cream, and was co-founder of Mountain, produced both records.
Jim was a studio musician on a number of recording sessions in New York in the 1960s and later,
in the 1970s, in Woodstock, N.Y.,
with such artists as Bobby Charles,
Rundgren, Nick Gravenites, Bob Neuwirth, Eric Von Schmidt and Borderline. He also worked
Paul Butterfield and members of The Band.
Jim played briefly with John Hall’s group, Orleans, in 1971. John later was elected as a Congressman from the 19th district, state of New York!
He was a part of Ian
and Sylvia’s pioneering country-rock band Great Speckled Bird, a group that was featured on
The Ian Tyson Show, Ian’s popular Canadian television series during the early
’70s. The show was syndicated the U.S. in 1971. This group toured the U.S. and Canada,
appeared on The Johnny Cash Show and was featured at the Canadian Pavilion at
Expo 70 in Osaka, Japan in 1970. They were a part of the legendary Festival Express train tour across Canada in the summer of 1970. This event is the subject of a major motion picture titled Festival Express that premiered in Toronto in 2003. It was released in the United States in July, 2004. An extended DVD was released in November 2004 after the film’s theater run. An LP was issued by the group on Columbia Records in 1971.
Later that year, the same band, with Jim as one of the lead vocalists, recorded an LP of original
material for Bearsville Records under the name
In early 1971, Jim met the late Texas guitarist Stephen Bruton in Woodstock. They became friends
and worked on music together in their spare time. In 1974, Jim moved to Fort Worth and
formed a band with Stephen called Little Whisper and the Rumors, an R&B group whose 1976 recordings for Atlantic were quickly sequestered and deemed too dangerous for the public to hear.
It was 1977 when Jim and
Stephen’s brother Sumter Bruton
combined to form the Juke Jumpers,
a group that played blues, rhythm & blues, rockabilly and jump music, all in a traditional
Texas style. Jim returned to playing guitar. In 1978, Jim, along with the Juke Jumpers,
recorded Panther City Blues for Flying High records. In 1979, the Juke Jumpers
recorded Border Radio, released in 1980 on the Amazing label. In 1980, they
recorded The Joint’s Jumpin’!, released in 1981, also on the Amazing label. The
Juke Jumpers can also be heard on the late Robert Ealey LP, Bluebird Open, another
Amazing product and one of the best blues records of 1981. Jumper Cables, was issued in March 1984 on Rounder Records’ new
Varrick label. Jim wrote a song titled Give Me Somethin' Fried for this record. Since then this song has been covered by many blues and R&B bands around the world. In 1988, Amazing records issued The Juke Jumpers, Live! LP
recorded on stage at the Caravan of Dreams in Fort Worth. During this time he became an inductee to Buddy Magazine’s Texas Tornadoes. Texas Tornadoes are recognized by the magazine as Texas’ best instrumentalists.
Since 1958 Jim has been writing songs and has been producing or coproducing in the
recording studio since the 1960s. He produced recordings for the Texas rockabilly legend
Sid King in 1982, and for singer/songwriter Larry Stone in 1983. He was the music coordinator of the Amazing LP, Rock-It To Stardom, by The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, assembled the musicians, played bass, acoustic guitar, harmonica, and did the final mix. This LP featured the first studio grouping of the musicians that later formed the LeRoi Brothers: Mike Buck, Don Leady and Steve Doerr.
His first book of poetry, Vacation Dreams, was completed in 1983. The book was
published the following year by Aldine Publishing, Austin, Texas.
He performed live with the late poet Allen Ginsberg in 1985 and later recorded with Allen
on Airplane Blues issued in 1986 on the Made Up In Texas LP on the Dallas
based Paris label. Jim appeared as a musician in the 1986 film
True Stories directed
by David Byrne of Talking Heads. He appeared with The Juke Jumpers in the Peter Douglas
film, A Tiger’s Tale in 1987 and wrote Lone Star Saturday Night, featured
in the sound track.
Jim performed with the Juke Jumpers in Europe in 1989 at the Belgium Rhythm & Blues
Festival in Peer
and at the Blues
Estafette, Utrecht, Holland along with the late Dallas R&B singer, Zuzu Bollin.
Jim is a performer immersed in America’s musical roots. He writes and records in his home studio in Fort Worth and continues to perform with the Juke Jumpers on their annual reunions and occasional gigs. In 1997 he returned to the studio with Jeff Gutcheon,
N.D. Smart, and
Amos Garrett to record some new Hungry Chuck material. Tracks were completed during 1999. Also work was completed in 1999 on a collection of tracks for a group called Lost Country® that includes Jim, Jeff Gutcheon, Fort Worth steel guitarist David McMillan and vocalist Susan Colegrove. Lost Country®-Broken People was issued on Cool Groove® CD101 in 2001. The group released their second CD Down On The Borderline in 2002. Their third CD, titled Turn Your Radio Around, was issued on Cool Groove® CD104 November 2003. Jim currently performs with Lost Country®. The group released their fourth record on November 15, 2005 titled Long Gone Thrill.
During the summer of 2006, Jim produced the CD, Jazz Now, Blues Later, for Fort Worth blues artist James Hinkle. That CD was voted into the top five Best Independently Produced CD's of 2007 by the International Blues Foundation and was featured on The House of Blues Radio Hour twice. In September 2006, Lost Country® began work on their fifth CD, titled Scattered, released in July 2007.
In 2008, Jim celebrated 50 years in the music business. He continues to produce new recordings such as the current CD by blues ace James Hinkle titled Some Day, released June 2008 and spoken word hipster, Wes Race, titled Cryptic Whalin'!. Other production work includes a new CD by Larry Stone titled Dreams Die Hard on Cool Groove CD 109, issued in December 2008 and a new CD by Lost Country® that was issued in April 2009. It is their 6th CD titled When We Danced. All Lost Country CDs are available at Amazon.com. Jim produced the latest CD by the Juke Jumpers. It was released late in 2009 and is titled Villa Acuña, 1963 on the Cool Groove label, also available at Amazon.com. He produced a new CD for Larry Stone, titled Thistles & Salt, that was released in April 2011 on Cool Groove Records. He has recently finished work on his own CD of rock 'n' roll guitar instrumentals that reflect his origin in the styles of the late 1950s and early 1960s with Teddy & the Rough Riders. Titled 3 Quarter Dime, it is now available on Amazon.com. Now he has his sights set on more recordings but where he goes from here no one knows but him.