Jimmy Stevens (born 5 August 1942) was an English singer-songwriter and musician. He was the lead vocalist of the Beathovens and between 1971 and 1973 worked with Maurice Gibb. Born on 5 August 1942 in Liverpool, England to Tom and Mary Stevense, he had a brother called Tommy and a sister, Mary. The family lived in Garston and Speke. His father bought him an old pub piano, but like many of his generation he veered away from his classical training.
Stevens was the lead vocalist of the Beathovens, a Merseybeat group that appeared regularly at The Cavern Club in Liverpool. According to one source, the Daily Mirror once described Stevens as "a fat John Lennon [who] writes like a broken-down poet and sings like he chews gravel for breakfast." In 1966, he released a solo single, I Love You, backed by Wharf 130, both songs written by Stevens. Around 1971, he was heard in Cam Studios in Moorfield by two Robert Stigwood representatives. A deal and the tour with Emerson, Lake and Palmer followed, which Stevens recalls with mixed emotions. 'You'd go on and find people were chanting 'ELP' when you were trying to sing.' In October 1971, he recorded his two compositions Tears (Behind My Eyes and The Band, produced by Maurice Gibb and Billy Lawrie. In 1972, he released his album Don't Freak Me Out on Atlantic Records, produced by Maurice Gibb. In 1973 a US version of the album, called Paid My Dues was released. (Read more at Wikipedia.)
Links to Peel
Peel doesn't seem to have played Jimmy Stevens' earliest efforts, but he was impressed enough by the singer's early 1970s work to have him record two sessions for Top Gear. The DJ also played tracks from the "Don't Freak Me Out" album on the show, and recommended it in a Disc article (reprinted in The Olivetti Chronicles, hardback version, p142): "the excellent writer/singer Jimmy Stevens, whose Don't Freak Me Out LP on Atlantic you have almost certainly ignored—to your cost".
Not much more was heard of Jimmy Stevens on Peel's shows after that - largely because the singer's career failed to develop, reportedly due to legal disputes with his management. Stevens never made another LP and returned to his native Liverpool, but in the 21st century there was a revival of interest in him, following a CD reissue of Don't Freak Me Out, and he returned to playing live gigs.
Festive Fifty Entries
Two sessions. No known commercial release.
- Happy Birthday Sam / Allerton Towers / Paid My Dues / Tears Behind My Eyes
- Won't Be Back With You / Please Don't Let It Be / Thank You For Being A Woman
Other Shows Played
- 25 August 1972: Bye Bye Love (single)
- 22 September 1972: Bye Bye Love (single) Atlantic
- 26 June 1973: Paid My Dues (LP: Don't Freak Me Out) Atlantic