Shirley, Jimmy (actually, James Arthur)

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Shirley, Jimmy (actually, James Arthur)

Shirley, Jimmy (actually, James Arthur), jazz guitar, electric bass; b. Union, S.C., May 31, 1913; d. N.Y., Dec. 3, 1989. Shirley spent his childhood in Cleveland, Ohio, and was originally taught music by his father. He worked with J. Frank Terry’s Band and with Hal Draper in Cincinnati (1934–36), then led his own quartet in Cleveland before moving to N.Y.; he also worked with Clarence Profit 1937–41, then spent two years accompanying Ella Fitzgerald. Shirley joined Herman Chittison’s Trio in 1944 and for the next ten years played for long spells with Chittison. From the mid-19408, Shirley also led his own small group in N.Y. clubs. He temporarily used a “vibrola” attachment on his guitar. During the mid-1940s and 1950s, Shirley also worked with Phil Moore, pianist Oliver “Toy” Wilson, Vin Strong, Billy Williams, and the Four Keys, among others. From the early 1960s, he regularly doubled on Fender Bass with George James’s Band in 1963 and with Buddy Tate in 1967 and continued to work through the 1970s, mainly in N.Y

—John Chilton , Who’s Who of Jazz/Lewis Porter