Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

JAMES, Dick

(b '21, London; d there 1 Feb. '86) Singer, music publisher. Sang with North London dance band in early teens; regular vocalist at Cricklewood Palais at 17. joined Henry Hall band and made first broadcast '40. Joined the army '42, after WWII singing with top bands incl. Geraldo; member of vocal group Stargazers; his recording of "You Can't Be True, Dear' was a hit in the USA '48, but he gave up full-time singing '53 ("I couldn't see much future for a fat bald-headed singer.') Entered publishing with Sydney Bron's company, found 28 hits incl. five no. ones. Continued with own recording career: theme from TV's Robin Hood was a top 20 hit '56; also charted with "Garden Of Eden' '57. Formed own Dick James Music (DJM) '61; through Parlophone Records connection met Brian Epstein, arranged Beatles' first TV appearance, formed Northern Music to publish Lennon-McCartney songs and became a millionaire; during '60s also handled Billy J Kramer, Gerry And The Pacemakers. James signed Elton John and his lyricist Bernie Taupin as untried unknowns '67; formed DJM records '69 for John's hits; the label carried Jasper Carrott, Rah Band and John Inman after Elton formed his Rocket label '76. Elton John sued James '85 for more royalties, collected over 1m.