Jesse James

Jesse James

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The author of this self-titled album remains a mystery to some because of confusion with the Jessie James who produced "The Horse" and "Boogaloo Down Broadway," on Cliff Nobles & Co., and the Fantastic Johnny C, respectively. Jesse James' thin, unexpressive voice causes you to lose interest after a few tracks. None of these songs were hits, but some are respectable despite the vocal limitations. Namely, "If You're Lonely Take My Hand," written by Johnny Heartsman, who had a hand in many of these songs; Heartsman later became a recording artist himself for Alligator Records. Also, "Thank You Darlin'," written by Sugar Pie DeSanto, Jesse Mason, and Jesse James, and "Facts of Life 68," a song with potential that was only promoted in a few markets. James' most popular recording, "Believe in Me Baby, Pts. 1 & 2," credits DeSanto, Shena Demell, and Jesse Anderson as songwriters; the tune features the ambience of a nightclub and party atmosphere, with James trying to convince some young lady to believe in him enough to work the streets, and take care of him -- pretty heavy stuff for the '60s. This rare slab of vinyl has long been out of print; a recent CD release, however, gives a better picture of the mysterious Jesse James.