Jimmy Ryser released a "Best of the Best" of his favorite songs and covers as well. If you're not familiar with Jimmy Ryser's music, it's time to discover it with that new record titled "1965 - Now". Enjoy...
Jimmy Ryser began his music career in Solon, Ohio, when he was just a 6 year old. He started playing the violin then to while away the hours during hospital stays due to a birth defect called Spina Bifida. That was the ticket…an escape from the drudgery of pain and illness. When he was 14, Jim picked up the guitar. It went everywhere with him. As a ninth grader, he debuted with his first band, "Traitor", at his junior high school's talent show. When a guitar solo (Yes, it was "Free Bird") commanded a standing ovation Jim recalls, "That moment, I knew what the Beatles must have felt like. To this day, it seems like the biggest crowd I have ever played in front of". Jim, by the way, has performed for as many as 70,000 people as a solo artist at Farm Aid IV and VI. In August of 2002 he eclipsed that number when he performed the National Anthem accapella at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400 NASCAR event. 300,000+ fans at the speedway itself and estimates of over 30 million people watching and listening in 96 countries worldwide. Now THAT'S an audience! This was a longtime dream of Jim's and he was almost overwhelmed by the experience. Many thanks to Tony George for giving Jim the opportunity to fulfill his dream.
Music continued to be a way of life over the next several years. It provided personal enjoyment and a way to express himself and his experiences in a unique way. Richard Mellencamp (John's father) discovered Jim during his "pizza tossing days" right after high school. Jim says, "it was work from 7 to 5, go home and write with my sister, Diane, and do it all over again the next day. I loved every minute of those days". Richard took Jim's demos to John and they ended up on the cluttered desk of Clive Davis, president of Arista Records. The legendary "Man with the Golden Ears" offered Jim a spot on the Arista roster immediately after their first meeting. Jim inked his contract "in the kitchen" in 1988.
Success came in 1990 with the release of "Jimmy Ryser", his self-titled debut CD. The first single, "Same Old Look", hit number 26 on the Billboard Chart, and number 6 on the Gavin Chart. A tour with the Moody Blues followed that summer. Although health limitations forced him to stop touring, Jim calls his debut a success. Jim was a hit in the Midwest and in other areas of the country, but his health took a toll on the fast rising star. He nevertheless kept writing with lyricist-sister Diane. In 1992, Jim and Arista had a mutual parting of ways so Jim could regain his health.