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Author Topic: Jimmy Rivers  (Read 5151 times)

Offline uburoibob

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Jimmy Rivers
« on: August 25, 2007, 08:37:21 AM »
If you want an eductation in Cowboy Bebop, or would just love to learn bebop ala Charlie Christian, then Jimmy Rivers and the Cherokees is the recording for you. This cat blows great cc lines over standards backed by a more country flavored band. Western Swing is what this is, and it's great!!

http://www.jazzspot.com/jazzspot/music/J_Rivers_1.htm

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Jimmy Rivers

jwrooker

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Jimmy Rivers
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2007, 09:23:05 AM »
I found his obit and it's interesting reading:



RIVERS, JIMMY (1926-2003)

Despite his relative obscurity, Jimmie Rivers was one of the great western swing guitarists, with a near-unparalleled ability to construct exciting, melodic solos in the vein of Charlie Christian.  Born Walter James Fewell on Feb. 12, 1926 in Hockerville, Oklahoma, and later changing his name to Jimmy Rivers, he passed away peacefully in his home in Placerville, California on August 29, 2003. Jimmy Rivers was an extraordinary man; a gifted musician who picked up his first instrument, a fiddle, at age four. His father, a coal miner and hoedown fiddler, bought him his first guitar at age six. Jimmy served in the Navy where he became an accomplished pilot and paratrooper.  The music of Bob Wills gave the youth his first influence, in particular the twin electric guitar arrangements of Leon McAuliffe and Eldon Shamblin. In high school, he also played trumpet before his family moved west to Oakland in the early ‘40s. Although Rivers' style had largely matured by the time he was a late teenager, it was in Oakland that he received his greatest musical instruction. Sitting in with a jazz combo one evening, he met a pianist named Don Burke, who introduced him to the music of the great electric guitar pioneer Charlie Christian. (Amazingly, although Rivers' guitar playing was already saturated with be-bop stylings, the youth had never heard of Christian; rather, he had absorbed the technique of Barney Kessel, another Christian fan.)

After two years in the Navy, in 1946 Rivers moved to Corpus Christi, TX and formed a trio called the Gadabouts. His reputation as a guitarist was growing, bringing job offers from both Spade Cooley and Bob Wills. Rivers, however, declined, as by this time he was making more money on his own than either bandleader could promise.

In 1954, he moved back to Oakland and took work as a DJ at KVSM. Before his first broadcast, he was re-christened “Jimmie Rivers" by a local man who expressed distaste for the name Fewell. (Rivers, who was half-Indian, had explained that his original family name was “Two Rivers.") Soon after, he formed a western swing group called the Cherokees, who began appearing on the California Hayride television show dressed in Indian headdresses. The Cherokees also cut some records for the Cavalier label and frequently backed Tommy Duncan on his solo recordings. In 1958, the group took up residence at the 23 Club in Brisbane, CA.

That same year, Rivers hooked up with ex-Billy Jack Wills steel guitarist Vance Terry, and in 1959 Terry joined what would become the definitive Cherokees lineup. They played the 23 Club for six years, before Rivers disbanded the group in 1964.

He came to the Sacramento area in 1961 and became involved in western swing music and jazz.  He was a Gold Card Member of the Sacramento Jazz Society and was inducted into the Western Swing Hall of Fame. He performed at the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee for many years, first with Bob Ringwald and the Fulton Street Jazz Band, later with his own Jimmy Rivers Jazz Band.




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« Last Edit: August 25, 2007, 09:24:10 AM by jwrooker »

Jimmy Rivers

Offline uburoibob

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Jimmy Rivers
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2007, 12:58:08 PM »
you can hear some previews here:

http://www.mp3.com/albums/181801/summary.html

Bob

1997 Parker Fly Concert Burnt Butterscotch  â€¢  1999 Parker Fly Artist Custom Hardtail Butterscotch  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Transparent Dark Blue  â€¢  1998 Fly Classic in Cherry Red with DiBurro Roland Mod •  http://bobmartin1111.com
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Jimmy Rivers

Offline Strandwolf

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Jimmy Rivers
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2007, 10:53:10 AM »
I hadn't heard of him much previously, but there was some publicity about a tribute party to be held at Brisbane's DeMarco's 23 Club for him early in 2003, the year he died. He was to attend but was already too sick with cancer to make it to the show, which I saw and heard: Big Sandy and His Flyright Boys with Ashley Kingman on guitar, a Dave and Deke (D*ckerson) reunion, Jim Campilongo and his Ten Gallon Hats with Joel Goldmark on pedal steel, etc.

Turns out that Rivers, while not a big guy, used to relish putting down his guitar and wading into dancefloor melees, fists a-swingin'. I guess if he was sober, he might have an advantage in speed and agility if not size....
« Last Edit: September 26, 2007, 10:55:01 AM by Strandwolf »
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Jimmy Rivers

Offline jazzpicker26

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Jimmy Rivers
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2007, 09:53:50 AM »
hey guys,

yeah jimmy rivers is my grandfather. He was really an amazing guitar player and person. We used to play jazz standards togeather when i was first learning guitar. it was great. He made other albums other than the brisbane bop one, although i dont know where you can find them. the other albums he made were more jazz and dixland. all great!! he was trully and original player and a great grandfather.

tyson
 

Jimmy Rivers

Offline loumt123

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Jimmy Rivers
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2007, 10:06:55 AM »
I've never heard of him before.

I just listened and he has some killer lines...I can't believe I've never heard of him before..
 

Re: Jimmy Rivers

Offline jazzeroo

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Re: Jimmy Rivers
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2014, 12:04:55 PM »
Jim Rivers has been a personal favorite of mine ever since I first saw and heard him on a local Sacramento, CA TV country music program. On the show, he played with Truitt Cunningham's band.

I hadn't started playing guitar at the time, but something about the music, and that guitarist just captured me. Eventually, the show went off the air and I forgot about Jim.
Fast forward about 18 years and I am playing in bands up in Placerville and a friend tells me I should go hear Jim Rivers. The name popped out like a flash. We trade information and I am wondering...is this the guy I used to watch on TV. One day, this friend says to me, Jim Rivers is playing for a brunch..lets go check him out...bring your guitar. Bring my guitar?  darn...I'm a rock dude...I don't know jazz..and who said I can sit in?  Just bring it!  So we go...my friend introduces me to Jim Rivers..and its the same guy...looks like  he playing the same guitar, a tobacco burst Gibson ES 335. I tell him how I had admired him. He asks if I want to come up...and I say yes...but shaking all the same. He calls out a key...its a  quick blues swing..whew!....I'm scared bolagnaless..then he nods to me to take a break...and I do...getting close to the end and can't wait...then he nods...take another...and I do. I played one more song and that was enough for me...The guys in the band were great and gave me compliments. I thank Jim..and that was it...I thought.

My friend Alan tells me one day..that he's going over Jim's house and would I like to come...I'm there. We drive onto Jim's property..and we go into his study. I forgot what my friend was there for...Jim and I talked for a while. He had some of his LPs and asked if I wanted any...geezz....its like God asking if you'd like to be rich...I declined...Jim said that maybe I could come up sometime...I could show him some of the new things guitarists were doing..and he would show me his style. TALK ABOUT STUPID! I never took him up on his generous offer.

A few years later working at a hospital. I am invited by a physician to his annual Christmas part at an exclusive country club. I did a few small favors for him. So I took my date...and lo and behold, Jim Rivers is playing..with about a 11 piece band. He looked great, as he always did, and to show off with my date, I took her up  to meet Jim. Ah..that welcome smile he had...then, he asked, if I would like to sit in..  sit in?  Like I would say no. So my date and I sat and had our dinner...after a dance, and we were ready to walk back to our table, Jim calls me...and announces that we have a treat here and someone is going to play a couple songs...My fear and my ego were battling with each other big time...
Jim hands me his guitar, and pick...tells me what I am going to play...I wait for the count...and off we go...the guitar sounds so good and sweet...I can't do now wrong. Its another Gibson ES355, but a mahogany looking finish. The two songs go by fast. People at the hospital where I work are flabbergasted...who knew?

I thanked Jim profusely...

That was the last time I saw Jim. For me, he will always be one of the greatest guitarist ever. His style, his technique...was as perfect as a human can make it. I have a photo of the time I sat in at the brunch, I think it was at Ghost Mountain Ranch Resort. I have that on my bulletin board...

Thank you Jim...for gracing us with your presence...

Robert V.