Jimmy Wallace
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Jimmy Wallace

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The best kept secret in music


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Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Jimmy Wallace has a love for music that goes back to an early age. He grew up listening to the music of the day, what is now called “classic” rock. “ I can remember collecting soda pop bottles and turning them in for the deposit so I could go to the record store and buy the latest Beatles single on 45.” But it wasn’t until he saw his best friends little brother getting guitar lessons from his dad that Jimmy entertained the idea of actually playing music. “ I sat there and watched him showing this little kid some simple chords and thought, ‘How cool is that?’ I was 17 at the time. So I asked him if he could show me some things, and that’s where it all started.” While learning the guitar, he also discovered a love for country music. “What Bill started teaching me was all this old time country stuff and I loved it. Growing up listening to rock music, I hadn’t heard anything like this.”

It just so happened that that this took place right across the street from another friend who had recently started a band, so Jimmy was able to pick up a lot from other musicians that were hanging around. About a year after picking up the guitar, Jimmy also started learning to play the fiddle. “A good friend Ben Vincent of the Wild Red Horse Band was a big help in getting my fiddle playing to a point where we could incorporate it into the show.” It wasn’t long before Jimmy and some friends had started a band of their own, and were soon playing for parties and some local clubs. His first band was called The Silver River Band, a name taken from a club in South Texas. Of course, bands come and go, and that group turned into Southern Crosswinds and eventually dissolved altogether. But not before playing the Wrangler Country Star Search at Belle Starr in Dallas and receiving a standing ovation! In 1984, Jimmy joined up with another group and formed County Line. Ironically, one of the members of this group was Charlie Jones, the very same kid who was getting the lessons from his dad 5 years earlier! That group enjoyed moderate success in the North Texas area, playing as far away as Guymon, OK. But it was rather short lived, and in 1986 the group was disbanded when several members traveled to Nashville as a backup band for a solo artist.

Jimmy played off and on for a few more years but was raising a family by this time and found it more and more difficult to devote much time to it. Soon he practically gave up music altogether. But the fire was only smoldering, it hadn’t gone out yet.

“My wife got me an acoustic guitar for Christmas one year, and I started learning some tunes and just playing around the house. We would go to Beaver’s Bend every year and all the retired folks would gather around the campfire and do all this old-timey country gospel music. It was great!” During this time is when Jimmy really got the idea that he could be writing his own songs. “Up until then, it was strictly cover songs”. He started reading every songwriting book he could get his hands on, and joined the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

By this time, both his boys were in high school and played in the school band. The schools band director was battling cancer and eventually succumbed to the disease in the summer of 2001. Mr. B, as he was known, had such a profound influence on not only Jimmy’s kids, but every kid who ever set foot in the Tom Bean band hall, that Jimmy decided to produce a tribute CD featuring music from the schools jazz band and some of Mr. B’s music. “The parents chartered two busses to take all these kids to Corpus Christi for the funeral. Seeing all that love and devotion they had for this man, I felt this overwhelming drive to produce this tribute CD. Not only for the kids, but for his widow and for the entire community. We got sponsors to defer the production costs, and all the proceeds went to a memorial scholarship fund that still benefits a graduating band student every year.” Jimmy wrote two original songs for the project, played on and produced the CD entitled “We Are His Legacy – A Tribute to Mr. B.” “That project is what really lit the fire under me to seriously write, record my own demos and pursue a songwriting career.”

Since then, Jimmy has written over a hundred songs, attended numerous songwriting seminars, has had some very favorable reviews from Nashville critiques and has gotten back into performing live… this time as a solo act doing all original music. “It’s really a whole new world being on stage all by yourself. There’s no band, no backup, just you. If you mess up, everybody knows it, so you really have to be on top of your game.”

But the thing Jimmy is most proud of is the founding of the North Texas Songwriters Association in 2003. He found that trying to be involved in some type of writer’s organization from afar is almost impossible. So after struggling to attend events held by the NSAI and Dallas Songwriters Association, he decided to start one here at home. “