Within a year after getting his first guitar donated by his sister’s boyfriend, Jimmy Gilmer of Sugar Shack fame, he was playing in a band and later became a founding member of The Illusions that landed a record deal with Dot Records. In 1966 he and his buddies decided to leave their hometown of Amarillo, Texas, and head to Los Angeles. During that time, The Illusions became “The Kitchen Cinq” recording with Lee Hazelwood’s LHI label for three years. This later led to jobs with other recording bands like Armageddon and THEM (post Van Morrison) with some studio work with Sonny and Cher and various recording artists on the side. Fifty years later, on August 28, 2015, AceRecords of the UK and its affiliate US label Light in the Attic Records released “The Kitchen Cinq, When the Rainbow Disappears”, as an anthology complete with a booklet of photos and history of the band.
Moving to Nashville in 1975 was the beginning of another serendipitous phase of Jim’s career where he met a young John Anderson and began writing successful chart songs. Then Jim branched out and has co-written with many #1, Hall of Fame and Grammy winning songwriters over the years and continues to do so today.
Jim is the creator and host of a popular series at the Von Braun Center Playhouse in Huntsville, AL since 2005 called Jim Parker’s Songwriters Series ® where he showcases the incredible talent of his hit songwriter friends from Nashville, Muscle Shoals, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Canada and surrounding areas. The dinner-theater atmosphere has created a highly anticipated monthly event where people listen to great songs from the people who wrote them and here the stories behind their songs. Without the songwriter there would be no music because it all begins with a songwriter and a song.
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