In this 2020 Musician Spotlight, bandleader and singer Jimmy Church—a crucial part of Nashville’s R&B community for sixty years—performs a selection of R&B classics and reminisces about a career that had him crossing paths with Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix, and other legends.
A Nashville native, Church was recording with an R&B group while still in high school. In the early 1960s, he was a member of the King Kasuals, a Nashville band that also included Hendrix and longtime Hendrix bandmate Billy Cox. Later, Church was regularly featured on "Night Train" and "The Beat," pioneering local TV shows that showcased R&B artists. Though he never could score a major hit, Church has built an enduring career as an in-demand cover-band artist across the Southeast. Most recently, he has recorded a new album, "Straight Outta Old School."
In an interview with the Museum’s Michael Gray, Church discusses his Nashville roots, his role in the R&B scene in the sixties, and the life of a cover-band leader. With his band, he also performs such hits as Bobby Hebb's "Sunny," Stevie Wonder's "Master Blaster," and Dobie Gray's "Drift Away."
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