Born James H. Breedlove, 9 April 1928, Apalachicola, Florida.
Jimmy Breedlove's problem was perhaps being too versatile. He could sing anything from soulful R&B ballads to raucous rock and roll, but he never became a serious hitmaker, though he recorded lots of first-rate material for important labels like RCA, Capitol, Atco and Epic. Breedlove's career started as a member of the Cues. This was a group formed by Atlantic Records arranger Jesse Stone in mid-1954 with the strict purpose to do professional backup work on records. Prior to that time, choruses were put together for a specific recording. Stone wanted to create an in-house group that had the versatility and skill to back all the solo acts on the label. The original Cues were Ollie Jones (ex-Ravens), Abel DeCosta (1929-1985), Robie Kirk (aka Winfield Scott on writer's credits) and Eddie Barnes ; Jimmy Breedlove was added a bit later and is not on the first two Cues singles, "Scoochie Scoochie" on Lamp and "Only You" on Jubilee (which is not a cover of the Platters hit, as All Music Guide claims). But he is the lead singer on most of the Cues' Capitol recordings, the first of which was "Burn That Candle", released in October 1955. It spent one week on the Billboard charts at # 86, but fell victim to Bill Haley's faster version, which peaked at # 9. The Cues would score one other chart entry, "Why" (# 77, Capitol 3582) in early 1957.
While at Atlantic, the Cues never got to record under their own name, as Jesse Stone probably didn't want to distract them from the work at hand, which was not only backup singing but also doing demos of Stone's songs. Every solo act on Atlantic began to get vocal support from the Cues. And it was always under a different name. On LaVern Baker sides they were the Gliders, on Ivory Hunter records they were his Ivorytones, when they sang with Carmen Taylor they were her Boleros, for Joe Turner his Blues Kings, and so on. Most of the time, they received no credit at all on the label.
"Why" was the Cues' last release on Capitol. In May 1957, "I Pretend"/ "Crazy Crazy Party" (from their final session for Capitol) surfaced on the Prep label, a Capitol subsidiary. Soon thereafter, Jimmy departed from the group (which continued to do backing work until the early 1960s). His first solo release was on Capitol ("Danny Boy"/"The Sky"), soon followed by two singles on Atco, the first of which, "That's My Baby"/"Over Somebody's Else's Shoulder" got a UK release on London HLE 8490. Two good sides. In 1958, Jimmy had his only LP release, "Jimmy Breedlove Sings Rock & Roll Hits" (RCA Camden CAL 430), which was reissued on Bear Family BFX 15327 in 1988. Jimmy next recorded for the Epic label (1958-60). The only interesting (from an R&R point of view) release from this period is "Oo-Wee, Good Gosh A Mighty" (Epic 9289), which came out in October 1958. The recordings for OKeh (1962) were more soulful. Jimmy's 1963 recording of "Jealous Fool"/ "Li'l Ole Me" (Diamond 144) is an excellent rocker. Further record deals during the 1960s (Alert, Jubilee, Roulette) never went further then one single release. In 1971 he joined the Ravens, after this group had been reformed by original member Jimmy Ricks, who died in 1974. Jimmy Breedlove died in 1978 at the age of only 50, at an unknown location.
Discographies: http://koti.mbnet.fi/wdd/jimmybreedlove.htm or
Further reading : Jay Warner, "The Cues", in The Billboard book of American singing groups (1992), page 139-140.
CD : The Cues, Why (Bear Family BCD 15510). 28 tracks from various labels, some previously unissued (like the great rocker "Killer Diller"). Released in 1991, but unfortunately now deleted.
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