Monday, January 22, 2018

THE BEAUTIFUL IMPRESSIONIST

In the stratosphere of nightclub performers, Jimmy James is in a class of his own.It's safe to say Jimmy  boasts one of the more colorful careers ever launched in San Antonio.

Born James Jude Johnson in Laredo in an undisclosed year, he started impersonating Marilyn Monroe on a whim in the early 1980s and perfected the act flawlessly enough to land in an Atlantic City revue that led to talk show appearances on Donahue to Geraldo, performances at high-profile events, and national advertising campaigns including L.A. Eyeworks and Kenar. Although possibly known better by younger audiences for his original club hit "Fashionista," James is a wildly talented vocal impressionist who shifts effortlessly between such iconic voices as Cher, Tina Turner, Billie Holiday, Elvis, Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland and Eartha Kitt, Bette Davis and many others. From his iconic “Marilyn years” where his eye popping impersonation of Marilyn Monroe rivaled the diva herself, Jimmy James has had a very interesting career....and has been in the entertainment world for 34 years.  When I first saw Jimmy he was most famous for his Marilyn though.  Jimmy has come to the Raven several times and I had the pleasure of talking to him the several times when he's been here. He has long  retired Marilyn back ‘97 though.
Now his shows are kind of like himself. While Jimmy  still paints like a hooker, he's doesn't really do drag the drag itself anymore.  He has since, in his words,"took the drag out per se, because for a while people were lip-synching and stuff. I’m androgynous.In drag I am only 5’5”,and in drag people think I’m a real woman,singing female voices. So that kind of ruined everything.I’m a guy doing women’s voices,so I didn’t want people to get involved or confused in all that. It’s just more fun for me to be myself. It’s self deprecating. The drag thing is so weird to me, because it just comes off like a woman, and I don’t know how to reconcile with that. I’ve been androgynous my whole life. People didn’t know if I was a boy or a girl. It’s how I was born." And to tell you the truth...he doesn't need the full drag....he is to be heard to be believed in these two amazing clips. He never fails to gives me chills when he's is in town. You won't believe these clips.
Now that's talent.

24 comments:

  1. An amazing talent, indeed! We were completely blown away by his performance when he made a rare appearance here in London - way back in 2007... Jx

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    1. Jimmy seems to be drawn to the Raven here, I have seen him several times the last few years, so I never miss a chance to see him. I have never heard such on point voice impressions. He has even added some new ones like Adele....and his Diana Ross and Patsy Cline are also awe inspiring.

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  2. OK. That is the most AMAZING thing I have seen or heard in ages!!!!!!! How does he do it!?!?!?!?

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  3. Wicked, that was brilliant!!!! I love when he's up here in P-town.

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  4. Jimmy James darling you are amazing.....

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  5. I'm speechless and astounded by the brilliance of this.

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  6. Jimmy is amazing. Jimmy as Judy.... He does her the BEST!!! No Doubt.. Better than those in full Judy Drag. But his Cher, Eartha, and Madonna are also very spot on. Jimmy is full on talent...

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  7. Saw him in Ptown years ago. I loved his Davis.

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  8. What an amazing talent! Fantastic performances!

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  9. Dare I say this...he sounds more like Judy to me than Jim Bailey! Don't get me wrong, Bailey is superb, but Jimmy just sounds more like Judy to me.

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  10. A treasure for sure!!!! I have always loved Jimmy.I love all the voices, but, as an old movie nerd, I think Mae West and Bette is my favorite.

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  11. This is some performer. He is wonderful.

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  12. Eartha and Billie in particular were MINDBLOWING. I bet he could do a mean Amy Winehouse.

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  13. I can't think of any other queen that could do so many voices so wonderfully. And he has another 8 not even heard here.

    Love his Diana Ross

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  14. I had goosebumps watching these clips.

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  15. He is truly amazing! I remember seeing him on TV long ago in California.

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  16. He's extraordinarily talented. Wow! Thanks for this one!

    Hugs!

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  17. I first saw Jimmy in the early 1980s at Roanoke VA’s legendary The Park disco. Back then his show was pretty much just Marilyn. Wow, I’ll just say wow.

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  18. I recall seeing him on, of all things, Oprah back in the 1980s. He was as Marilyn alongside a Cher (who lip-synced Cher.)

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  19. I remember Jimmy doing the whole talk,show circuit back in the day. I don't know anyone who can do that many voices.

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  20. I've been a huge fan since the 1st time I saw him in 2000 or 2001. Since then I've seen him several times in Rehoboth Beach, had my picture taken with him, and been able to chat with him too. Such a nice guy and such a talent!!

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Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!

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