60s Music

Jimmy Bowen

Jimmy Bowen
Jimmy Bowen. (Source: Wikipedia)

 

Introduction to Jimmy Bowen

Jimmy Bowen (born in New Mexico in 1937) is a former singer and later songwriter and record producer. He first achieved his own hit with “I’m Stickin’ with You” during the mid-50s music period. This was actually a B-side of “Party Doll,” which was a hit for Buddy Knox with whom Bowen had co-written the song as well as their other songs. Bowen and Knox were actually band mates in the Rhythm Orchids. Bowen’s other charting single was “Ever-Lovin’ Fingers,” also released in 1957. However, this would be his last single as a singer, and soon he quit to focus on producing. This career shift proved to be successful, as he went on to produce hits for other singers such as Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, and pop group Dino, Desi and Billy. Bowen also ventured in film scoring, having provided music for Vanishing Point, Smokey and the Bandit II and The Slugger’s Wife. Bowen also established his own label Amos Records, and the held positions in several record labels of executive capacity.

 

 

A brief story of Jimmy Bowen’s musical journey

James Bowen more known as Jimmy Bowen was born on November 30, 1937 in Santa Rita, Mexico. Bowen and his family later relocated to Dumas, Texas when he was eight. In 1957, Bowen began to experience early success with his version of “I’m Stickin’ with You” which was actually the flip side of Buddy Knox’s “Party Doll.” Co-written with Bowen and Knox, the single went to #14 on the US pop charts, selling over a million copies and achieved a gold disc status. At the same time, Bowen and Knox were also band mates in the three-piece band the Rhythm Orchids along with Don Lanier.

 

Bowen after of “I’m Stickin’ with You” success

While Knox was mounting his solo career, Bowen gave up his own blossoming recording career and chose to work behind the curtains — by working in the production line of the music business. With the skills of making hit songs, he also became a successful record producer. In the early 60’s, Bowen relocated to Los Angeles, California. There, he was hired as a record producer for Reprise Records by the great Frank Sinatra.

He produced several hits for the big names in the business: Dean Martin, Bert Kaempfert and Sammy Davis Jr. Around that time, Bowen was also the brains behind Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood’s duo and of the singing group Dino, Desi & Billy. From 1968 to 1971, Bowen ran his own recording label, Amos Records. He later left Los Angeles and relocated to Nashville, Tennessee where he served as president of several record labels. From 1970’s to 1980’s, he  successfully handled numerous country artists like Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr., Glen Campbell, The Oak Ridge Boys, George Strait, Suzy Bogguss, Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks and Kim Carnes. He also introduced the digital technology, revolutionizing the recording methods in Nashville. In 1988, he launched the label Universal Records (not the current Universal Records) but a year later, it was sold to Capitol Records.

 

Other information

Bowen is an alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. Soon after graduating, he attended the Belmont University where he finished with high honors.  Bowen is now residing in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife Ginger.

 

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