born in Pontotoc, Mississippi, March 17, 1943.
began writing songs when he was about 12-years old. He had
his own bands during high school and college and played
dates throughout the South until he moved to Los Angeles
with his rock band, The Gordian Knot, in 1966. He attended the
University of Mississippi on a football scholarship, where he was an All Southeastern
Conference Quarterback and honorable mention All American for the Ole Miss Rebels football team
in 1964. He was a member of the only unbeaten and untied National Championship Rebel football team in Ole Miss history in 1962 and SEC champions in 1962 and 1963.
years in L.A., Jim wrote songs which not only became pop and
R&B classics, but also crossed over to Country, Gospel and
Jazz. "Neither One Of Us Wants To Be The First To Say
Goodbye" was a #1 pop and soul hit and won a Grammy Award
for Gladys Knight & The Pips. The next year, that song
became a country hit for the late Bob Luman. Later, it became an instrumental jazz hit for David Sanborn. "The Best
Thing That Ever Happened To Me" was a #1 R&B hit and a
#2 pop hit for Gladys Knight & The Pips, and later became a
#1 country hit for
Price. It has become a classic gospel song first recorded in that field by the Reverand James Cleveland. "Midnight Train To Georgia" was also a #1 pop and #1 R&B hit
and helped Gladys Knight & The Pips win another Grammy
Award. Jim was nominated for a Grammy as songwriter in the
R&B Song category. Gladys Knight & The Pips also had pop and
R&B hits with Jim's "Where Peaceful Waters Flow","Love Finds It's Own Way" and "Between Her Goodbye and My Hello".
had seven albums of his own as a recording artist during
that time. "The Need To Be" reached #11 on the Pop
charts and #6 on the A/C charts during the mid-seventies. He
also had a Top 10 Country record with "I'll Still Love
You" He has since released three new cds including a Christmas album of self-penned songs.
moving back to the South, Jim has continued to enjoy
success. His self-published song "Love Never Broke
Anyone's Heart" which he co-wrote with Vince Gill is on
"I Still Believe In You" album which has sold
over five million copies. He and Vince also teamed up to
write "If I Didn't Have You In My World" for the
double-platinum "Pocket Full Of Gold" album.
Like You" was #1 on the Country charts for Glen
Campbell, and "Where Shadows Never Fall" also
recorded by Glen Campbell, won Jim his first Dove Award. New
Asylum Country artist, Bryan White had his first #1 Country
hit with Jim's "Someone Else's Star." Jim also
co-wrote "You Know How I Feel" with Bryan for his
also had cuts by such diversified artists as Steve Wariner,
Dan Seals, Neil Diamond, Linda Davis, Marie Osmond, Bill Anderson, Charley
Pride, Eddy Arnold, Dean Martin, Johnny Mathis, Ray Boltz,
Peter Cetera, The Indigo Girls, Jeff Carson, Kenny Rogers,
Reba McIntire, Kenny Chesney, Joan Osborne, Hall & Oates, Ed
The Temptations, The Manhattens, The Spinners, The
Oak Ridge Boys, B.J. Thomas, Lynn Anderson, Tanya Tucker,
Andy Williams, David Sanborn, Ruth Brown, Etta James,
Reverand James Cleveland, Widespread Panic, Danny Thomas,
Miles Jaye, Jennifer Hudson, David Ball, Peggy Lee, Russ
Taff, and many more.
Jim was ASCAP's Country Songwriter of the Year in 1974. He served
on the Board of Directors for the Nashville Songwriters
Association International for 5-years. In 2006, he was inducted into the NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME, as well
as the MISSISSIPPI MUSICIANS HALL OF FAME. He was inducted into the OLE MISS ALUMNI HALL OF FAME in 2011. In 2014 he received the Governor's Award for Excellence in Music from the state of Mississippi. In June of 2014 he was inducted into the prestigious SONGWRITER'S HALL OF FAME in New York City. In 1999 "Midnight Train To Georgia" was inducted into the GRAMMY HALL OF FAME. In 2001 the National Endowment for the Arts and the Recording Industry Association of America selected the 365 Songs of the Century. Number 1 and 2 were "Over The Rainbow" and "White Christmas". "Midnight Train To Georgia" was number 29 with the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" at number 28 and "Imagine" by John Lennon at number 30. "Midnight Train to Georgia" was also selected as one of Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
lives in Brentwood, Tennessee with his wife Cynthia, their
daughter, Brighton, and their son, Zack. He continues to write
and publish his own songs as well as record and release CDs
on his own Brizac Records label.