Friday, December 08, 2006

Known Internationally As The Norfolk Sound

Jimmy Soul was born James McCleese in Weldon, North Carolina. Handpicked as a teenager by Frank Guida who had set up a record shop called Frankie's Birdland on Church St in the city of Norfolk, Virginia and who was set upon making musical history. Jimmy was on the roster alongside the much more famous Gary U.S Bonds and he only ever had two chart hits, both which were Bond's cast-offs, 'Twistin' Matilda', in 1962 and the number one hit 'If You Wanna Be Happy' in 1963. He then gave up his career as a musician and joined the army.
He died in 1988 at the age of 45. This track can be found on the Ace Records 1996 CD 'The Very Best Of '.

Jimmy Soul - Take Me To Los Angeles

Frank Guida


wick said...

Hey Doc,
as i write this from va beach, va, i am happy to report that an off shoot of the aforementioned record store still exists. Birdland records, still family owned and operated is still the best record store in the area. In fact i was in there just yesterday picking up "mofo" by frank zappa.
You're right, these guys are rich in norfolk music history. i am most pleased to be able to call these people friends.
if you're in the area, the annual birdland christmas party is sunday after closing. i'm sure barry and the boys wouldn't mind if you dropped by.

Anonymous said...

I second that emotion.. Birdland Music in Va. Beach is a great indie music store.. .The Friedman family bought the store from Franky back in the late 1960s when it was located in Norfolk Virginia on Church Street.. Long live Birdland and record stores that "get it" !

B in NC