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Jimmy Angel still living and breathing the 50s

By: Gil Gonzalez

Date Posted: 2004-12-16

It's two weeks before Christmas and all through the city not a creature is stirring.

Except a rock idol straight out of the 1950’s, Jimmy Angel.

Angel, who is now in his late 60’s, says “I gotta go out rockin'. It is all I know how to do, and man, I love it!" As we talked I told Jimmy, "It’s hard to find anything about you on the web." He said humbly and with a giggle, "They didn’t have internet back then. What he said next was a bit of a shocker, "Well, who knows what is out there on me since Papa Joe and my publicists had control over everything I did.

Papa Joe, as Angel called him, was New York Mafia boss Joe Columbo. Jimmy tells a wonderful story of his life as he recalls being drafted by the New York Yankees farm team in 1956 when Elvis, his high school classmate, was making records. That very same year, he pulled a muscle in his arm while playing shortstop and the doctors told him that his baseball career was over. Soon after, Jimmy had a brush with fate that completely changed his life.

He was at the Joe Coogie’s record store around Christmas when two fellows came up to him and offered him $3,000 to become a star. "They told me I looked like Elvis and Ricky Nelson." The rest is history. Jimmy went on to record and sing at concerts as a part of the Columbo family. Jimmy recalls that “Papa Joe was very good to me. If there was one thing Papa Joe always made clear to me, he told me to never forget who I was! I am a Rock n Roller!"

Angel’s style is bop, sort of a cross between rockabilly and rhythm and blues. With his music on several labels such as Pat Boone's Gold Label, Laurie label, and Japan Polydor label, Jimmy has ten gold records to his name, including such hits as his rendition of  Teenager in Love/Blue Moon and One Last Kiss. His life has been detailed in a book, Victim of Destiny, by Kageki Shimoda. "Most recently, I have been asked by he Coppala family to make a movie about my life, which will begin next year," Jimmy says. "Jack Nicolson has agreed to play Papa Joe. Sofia Coppala and I will be on Larry King Live in Los Angeles in April 2005.”

Jimmy has been performing in Japan since 1985. Nineteen years later, he is still here, performing golden oldies in live houses, pubs and clubs in and around Tokyo. He sings at places such as the Bargen at Narita, What the Dickens, Paddy Foley’s and Hard Rock Café in Tokyo.

Jimmy will be in Okinawa Friday through Sunday and is scheduled for guest appearances in several clubs and pubs in Naha. “My Okinawa visit is made possible by Intervent Entertainment, Pat Boone’s Gold Label, Gibson Guitars and local sponsorships. Along with my own songs, I will be singing hits from my old friends Elvis, Buddy Holly, Paul Anka, Del Shannon, Richie Valens and more! I am not bringing a back up band with me, so I am going to use some new friends at each venue I go to and we will just have fun cat! That is what the 50’s were all about, making friends and jamming to the good ol’ sounds of the 50’s and 60’s.”

See Jimmy Angel perform live at any of these places.

Friday December 17, 2004:

Guest Appearance: TOPNOTE, Nishimachi, Naha City
Time: 9:30 p.m. *1st Stage

**Full Stage: BEFARM (Naha Tower 5F) Kokusai Street
Time: 10:45 p.m.; 12:10 a.m.; 1:20 a.m.; 2:30 a.m.

Saturday December 18, 2004:

***Guest Appearance: Live Music Bar UNDER CURRENT Kumoji, Naha City
Time: 9:00 p.m.; 10:00 p.m. *1st and 2nd Stage

***Guest Appearance: Music & Bar FAVORITE Maejima, Naha City
Time: 11:00 p.m.; 12:00 midnight *2nd and 3rd Stage

***Guest Appearance: B-ONE Music Maejima, Naha City
Time: 1:00 a.m. *4th Stage

***Guest Appearance: Live Music Bar MUSASHINO, Urasoe City
Time: 2:00 a.m. *special 5th Stage

Sunday December 19, 2004:

***Guest Appearance: Music World ME & YOU Mihama, Chatan-Cho
Time: 9:00 p.m.; 10:00 p.m. *1st and 2nd Stage

***Guest Appearance: B-ONE Music Maejima, Naha City
Time: 12 midnight; 1:00 a.m. *3rd and 4th Stage

For more information contact by email at jimmyangel@intervent.bz or call 098-863-1779 during normal business hours or 080-3182-8617.

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