Legendary folk singer Jim Page visits the Coastguard Centre on Feb 8th.
This is what Christy Moore had to say of the man who wrote “Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette” and “Landlord”, both recorded by Moving Hearts,
“Every now and again I encounter a singer who gives me a glimmer of hope. Jim Page carries the light.”
Jim Page was born in California in 1949 and grew up into the 1960’s in the San Francisco Bay Area. The music and artistic experimentation of those days left a lasting impression on him. The politics and social awareness was a part of everything that was going on and it has stayed that way in Jim’s music ever since. Jim got his start in the bars and coffee houses of the lower Bay Area in 1966.
On New Years day of 1970 he headed to New York City by thumb, arriving one frozen day in January with a broken fleece lined jacked and 34 cents in his pocket. He soon borrowed a guitar and started hitting the clubs of Greenwich Village, sometimes playing as many as three in the same night. But the scene had gone and the Village a shadow of it’s former self.
A year later he headed to Seattle.
The last folk club in Seattle closed soon after he arrived and Jim took the whole town to be his stage. Wherever there were people he would play: the streets, the college campus, the bus station, the bars, and at the city council meetings. One day he walked into the TV
station and said “I’ve got a song you should put on the news,” and they did. Including the
streets, the campus, the cocktail bars, and the rock and roll clubs Jim would play from 11am
in the morning to 2am the next morning, with time out for traveling across town, often
playing 5 clubs a night.
In 1974, after being threatened with arrest, Jim took on the Seattle city government and legalized street performing. It was a landmark case and Seattle is nowa famous city for buskers of all styles.
In 1975 Jim recorded his first album of original music, a vinyl LP called “A Shot Of The Usual”, released on his own label. Two other albums followed in rapid succession.
In 1977 Jim journeyed to the UK and performed at the Cambridge Folk Festival. The response was instant and overwhelming and he walked away with a feature in the national music press, two booking agents, and a European tour for the next year. He was off and running
and spent the next 6 years almost constantly on the road. He recorded two albums for a Swedish label called Nacksving and one for WEA Ireland.
It was in Ireland that Christy Moore first heard Jim’s song “Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette,” and made it a permanent part of his repertoire. When Christy formed the great Irish band Moving Hearts “Hiroshima” was their first single and a centerpiece to their shows.