Saturday, March 25, 2023

Music Reviews: Jimmy Donley

Skilled people aren't necessarily nice or moral people. Today many folks like to "cancel" people. Maybe the consumer doesn't like the artist's politics. Maybe the artist is abusive to family members or intimates. The artist might be racist or sexist. The artist might be violent. The artist might just be a low quality human being.

I don't think the value of a person's art or the level of their skill is determined by their morality. Flowers can grow from crap. We are all different mixes of good and evil. The worst and best of us are still human.

The troubled singer/songwriter Jimmy Donley (1929-1963), who committed suicide in 1963, was a mix of good and evil. The Mississippi born Donley was dishonorably discharged from the Army in the late forties/early fifties because of his racism towards a Black NCO. Think about how racist you had to be to kicked out of the Army in the mid 20th century! Nevertheless Donley later became good friends with Black rock-n-roll icon Fats Domino, occasionally writing for and singing with Domino in integrated bands. 
Donley created some tear jerking songs. Unfortunately Donley wrote some of the songs as apologies to his wives (he was married six times) all of whom he apparently abused pretty badly. A violent jealous alcoholic, Donley had no problems putting hands on his wives or innocent men who wound up in the hospital because Donley didn't like how they looked at or spoke to his wife.

The prolific Donley never had quality management. Donley sold portions of or entire songs to label owners, promoters, other musicians, ripoff preachers, or so-called "managers". The impecunious Donley was allegedly not above mugging concert goers after shows.

All the same Donley was one of the greatest early rock-n-roll singer-songwriters.
I really like "Love Bug" and "A Woman Gonna Have Her Way".

A Woman Gonna Have Her Way

Love Bug

Think It Over

Please Mr. Sandman

Just A Game