b. 12 April 1936, Leachville, Arkansas, USA. The Payne family moved to Gideon, Missouri, in 1944 and Jimmy enjoyed country music and singing in church. He had a gospel programme on the radio on Saturdays and was picking cotton during the week. In 1957, he moved to St. Louis to work as a professional country singer. He met Chuck Glaser while in the US Army and played guitar with the Glaser Brothers band. Chuck Glaser took over his management when he formed his band, the Payne Gang. He made several singles including ‘Ladder To The Sky’, ‘What Does It Take (To Keep A Woman Like You Satisfied)’ and ‘My Most Requested Song’. He first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in 1966. He cut several singles including his own composition, ‘Woman, Woman’, which had national success in 1967 when it was recorded by Gary Puckett And The Union Gap. He continued to have only minor success as a solo artist - ‘L.A. Angels’, ‘Ramblin’ Man’ and ‘Turning My Love On’ - but he wrote Charley Pride’s US number 1 country single, ‘My Eyes Can Only See As Far As You’. He wrote the popular title track of his gospel album, Walk With Me The Rest Of The Way, with Jim Glaser. In 1986 he recorded a duet, ‘Ugly Women And Pick-Up Trucks’, with Tompall Glaser.
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