Jim Jersey was born in Bradenton, Florida, and grew up in Battle Creek, Michigan to the smell of cereal being made.  As a young teenager, when “Rock and Roll” was just beginning, Jim wanted to take guitar lessons.  His mother’s reaction, “You want to play a ‘plunk, plunk’?  You can’t make any music with a ‘plunk, plunk’.  If you want to take lessons, it’s Hawaiian guitar for you!”

 Jim tried that for awhile but the simple fact was that Elvis, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley and all the rest of the “Rock and Roll” stars did not include Hawaiian guitars in their bands, so he gave it up.

The event that started it all for Jim was a May 1, 1958 episode of Playhouse 90 that featured The Kingston Trio.

When he heard them sing “Scarlet Ribbons” it was as if lightning struck.

This was the music he wanted to play and sing.

 

After much hinting, Jim received his first guitar for Christmas that same year.  It was a genuine Sears and Roebuck “Silvertone”, $32.00, including tax.  Jim finally got the chance to drive his mother crazy, plunk, plunking away while he was learning.

Through the years, Jim and a good friend built a repertoire of folk songs and played and sang at neighborhood parties.

In the mid-nineties he fell in with some real musicians, and their friendship and talent helped him improve his talent.  At the tender age of 57 years 10 months, he made his debut as a performer.

 Since then Jim has branched out beyond folk music and has performed in many venues around Michigan and in Chicago.

Jim’s main influences are, The Kingston Trio, Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Johnny Cash,
Kris Kristofferfson, John Prine and anybody else that writes a good song. 

When asked what kind of music he plays, his response is,

“I play songs that I like, I hope you like them too.”