Friday, September 19, 2008

pj proby: somewhere

james marcus smith, born houston, texas, november 6th, 1938.

Buccaneering brigand. Pioneer of the original living Davy Crockett cut.

From Wiki:

"Proby grew up in a banking family where his father was the VP of the Second National Bank in Houston, Texas. He was educated at San Marcos Military Academy, Culver Naval Academy and Western Military Academy. After graduation he moved to California to become a motion picture actor and recording artist. Given the stage name Jett Powers by top Hollywood agents Gabey, Lutz, Heller and Loeb, he took acting and singing lessons, and appeared in movies with small roles. Two singles "Go, Girl, Go", and "Loud Perfume", were released on an independent label, but were not noticed. In 1962 he began writing songs and recording demos, for artists such as Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash."

70 this year, Proby has resided in the UK since 1971.

"In July 2007, Proby was arrested on suspicion of a £50,000 benefit fraud. The Department of Work and Pensions are believed to be looking into whether the singer has undeclared concert earnings. He is alleged to have collected benefits whilst still performing around the country. Proby has denied the allegations saying: "I don't know anything about any benefit fraud. There is nothing in these allegations whatsoever." "

This is Proby's classic take on Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Sondheim's smash from "West Side Story", which scored a highly respectable #6 hit on the British singles chart and reached #7 on the Australian singles chart in 1964.

Ride out the credit crunch, swashbuckling banker's boy. A comeback is surely just around the corner.

PJ PROBY: SOMEWHERE from "Somewhere" 45 (Liberty) 1964 (US)



Anonymous said...

P.J.Proby is the best singer on the planet & why he isn't working every night of the week I'll never know!!His voice is perfection!
Ron Tennant

ib said...

I agree with you, Ron. One of the most distinctive voices in popular music, and as big an influence on Tom Waits as even Lee Marvin.

Thanks for the comment.