James Witherspoon, 8 August 1923, Gurdon, Arkansas, USA, d. 18 September 1997, Los Angeles, California, USA. Witherspoon crossed over into rock, jazz and R&B territory, but his deep and mellow voice placed him ultimately as a fine blues singer. He sang in his local Baptist church from the age of seven. From 1941-43 he was in the Merchant Marines and, during stopovers in Calcutta, he found himself singing the blues with a band led by Teddy Weatherford. In 1944, he replaced Walter Brown in the Jay McShann band at Vallejo, California, and toured with it for the next four years. In 1949 he had his first hit, Aint Nobodys Business (Parts 1 & 2), which stayed on the Billboard chart for 34 weeks. Other recordings at the time with bands led by Jimmy Maxwell Street Davis are fine examples of rollicking west coast R&B (collected as Whos Been Jivin You). Witherspoons popularity as an R&B singer faded during...
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