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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Friday, August 24, 2012

If You Wanna Be Happy - Jimmy Soul

Jimmy Soul (August 24, 1942 – June 25, 1988) was an American vocalist. He is best remembered for his 1963 million selling recording, "If You Wanna Be Happy."

Born James McCleese in Weldon, North Carolina, he performed gospel music as a teenager, later scouted by Frank Guida and recruited to sing songs handpicked for one of Guida's other hit artists, Gary U.S. Bonds. Soul only had two chart hit singles, both which were Bonds's cast-offs, "Twistin' Matilda" in 1962 and the Billboard Hot 100 number one hit "If You Wanna Be Happy" (based on the calypso, "Ugly Woman", by Roaring Lion) in 1963. "If You Wanna Be Happy" sold over one million gramophone records, earning gold disc status. It had two spells in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at #39 (1963) and #68 (1991) respectively
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