The Amazing Jimmi Mayes: Sideman to the Stars

The Amazing Jimmi Mayes: Sideman to the Stars

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by Jimmi Mayes
     
 

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For more than fifty years, Chicago drummer Jimmi Mayes served as a sideman behind some of the greatest musicians and musical groups in history. He began his career playing the blues in the juke joints of Mississippi, sharpened his trade under the mentorship of drum legends Sam Lay and Fred Below in the steamy nightclubs of south Chicago, and hit it big in New York

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Overview

For more than fifty years, Chicago drummer Jimmi Mayes served as a sideman behind some of the greatest musicians and musical groups in history. He began his career playing the blues in the juke joints of Mississippi, sharpened his trade under the mentorship of drum legends Sam Lay and Fred Below in the steamy nightclubs of south Chicago, and hit it big in New York City behind such music legends as Tommy Hunt from the Flamingos, Marvin Gaye, and James Brown.

Mayes played his drums behind blues giants Little Walter Jacobs, Jimmy Reed, Robert Junior Lockwood, Earl Hooker, Junior Wells, Pinetop Perkins, and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith. He lived for a while with Motown sensation Martha Reeves and her family and traveled with the Shirelles and the Motown Review. Jimi Hendrix was one of Mayes's best friends, and they traveled together with Joey Dee and the Starliters in the mid-1960s.

Mayes lived through racial segregation, the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the integration of rock bands, and the emergence of Motown. He personally experienced the sexual and moral revolutions of the sixties, was robbed of his musical royalties, and survived a musical drought. He's been a pimp and a drug pusher—and lived to tell the tale when so many musicians have not. This sideman to the stars witnessed music history from the best seat in the house—behind the drum set.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
03/01/2014
The "amazing" part of the title of drummer Mayes's memoir captures the up-and-down career of a musician who played behind blues greats such as Junior Wells, Pinetop Perkins, and Little Walter Jacobs, who backed up R&B and soul singers such as Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, and James Brown, and who roomed with Jimi Hendrix when the two were members of Joey Dee and the Starliters. Mayes provides interesting and titillating tidbits about his life, fellow musicians, and the reality of existence for the club and touring musician, including the stereotypical drugs, sex, alcohol, sex, and more sex. There is a more serious side, as Mayes also describes racism he encountered and the changes in social attitudes he has witnessed. VERDICT This book should be of interest to blues and soul fans, but it rambles a little too much for the casual reader, and is probably a little too sketchy for the serious scholar of blues, soul, and R&B from 1960 to the present.—James E. Perone, Univ. of Mount Union, Alliance, OH

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781617039164
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
Publication date:
01/01/2014
Series:
American Made Music Series
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
1,392,098
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 6.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Jimmi Mayes, Chicago, Illinois, learned his trade as a teenager in the juke joints around Jackson, Mississippi. He went on to perform with many well-known artists, including Little Walter Jacobs, Marvin Gaye, and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.

V. C. Speek, Minooka, Illinois, is the author of "God Has Made Us a Kingdom": James Strang and the Midwest Mormons. Speek is a former newspaper reporter and currently works as the editor of John Whitmer Books in Independence, Missouri.

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The Amazing Jimmi Mayes: Sideman to the Stars 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
BLUEFISH99 More than 1 year ago
This novel about Jimmy Mayes is brilliant because it brought back memories of records I used to listen to, like Martha and the Vandellas, Jimmi Hendrix, The Flamingos, Marvin Gaye, definitely a walk on the wild side of music for me.  Memories share of  times spent with the best musicians of the century, lets the reader share some of his past experiences and child, about segregation of blacks and whites and his zest for music. How he integrated with blues musicians like Jimmy Reed, and played drums for the Corvettes. BRILLIANT