Jimmy Campbell

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L. James Campbell was known professionally as Jimmy Campbell, thus assigning him to a mob scene of performers sharing this name which includes both an Irish and bluegrass fiddler, two jazz musicians,…
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L. James Campbell was known professionally as Jimmy Campbell, thus assigning him to a mob scene of performers sharing this name which includes both an Irish and bluegrass fiddler, two jazz musicians, a blues bassist, and a folk rocker. It would be safe to say that if the income generated by all these individual musical cans of soup was combined it would not come close to that generated by this songwriter, whose lyrical creations have led to great success for performers time and time again, not only in the era the songs were originally written but decades and indeed generations later. In the '20s, Campbell formed a songwriting team with fellow Briton Reginald Connelly and together this duo wrote songs that managed to gain great popularity in the United States, and not lose a bit of ground when the pop music scene went international. The two usually teamed up with other composers to create their hits, coming up with a perfect combination of music and lyrics. In 1931 they came up with "Goodnigh Sweetheart" for Earl Carroll Vanities, working with composer and arranger Ray Noble. The smooth crooner Rudy Vallee sang the number and it became a hit of gargantuan proportions. The same and more can be said of the 1933 "Try a Little Tenderness," musical advice for hard charging Romeos everywhere that was concocted with an American tunesmith named Harry M. Woods. This is a song that just will not die, revived in the '60s as a huge hit for soul singer Otis Redding and then becoming a soul music war horse forever thereafter. It was gold again in the '90s for Michael Bolton, although there are listeners that wish that had never happened. The team is also behind the immortal "If I Had You," recorded by a host of artists, among them Frank Sinatra in his tribute to the work of great British songwriting teams. Other songs written in collaboration with Campbell include "In My Room," but not the song of this name recorded by the Beach Boys; "Just an Echo in the Valley"; and "Everybody Loves My Marguerite." One of the most famous songs the team was involved in was their adaptation of a Canadian folk song "Show Me the Way to Go Home," first recorded in 1925 by the appetizing group Perry's Hot Dogs. For this ditty and several others from this period, the songwriting team used the pseudonym Irving King. Whatever they called themselves, these collaborators came up with timeless works, hitting solidly on audience's sympathies musically and lyrically, a fact amply illustrated by the sheer number of cover versions from both the vocal music and jazz camps.