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Jimmy Thomas was born in Osceola, Arkansas, 20 January 1939. Raised by his uncle and aunt he was brought up on a musical diet of records by Big Maceo, Waiter Davis, Tampa Red, Sonny Boy Williamson etc. as well as hearing many of the local blues artists including Albert King, then still known as Albert Nelson. Forming a band of his own whilst still in his early teens and performing current popular vocal group and blues material, they played many of the local clubs in and around Osceola.

 

Upon the recommendation of Albert King Jimmy joined the extremely popular St. Louis based Kings Of Rhythm in early 1958. Closely followed by Tommy Hodge, the pair were a replacement for the recently departed Clayton Love. It was a time of a great deal of recording activity for Ike and the 'Kings' and also the start of a change in Ike's musical direction.Present at the now historic Cobra sessions in Chicago, and the vocalist on the wonderfully bizarre 'Jack Rabbit' on Stevens, Jimmy was to remain with Ike for eight years. From a popular local band through the early Ike & Tina days on the chitlin' circuit, until they became one of the top R&B acts in the country.  He saw many changes in the Kings Of Rhythm including the arrival of Tina herself and the eventual formation of the 'Ike and Tina Turner Revue', in which Jimmy had his own spot.

 

Since settling in London in 1969 he has a handful of singles and an album on Contempo behind him and currently a fine soul single on his own label, Osceola Records.

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