Jimmy Heap: Living on the Wild Side of Life

Editors note: In the last several years the name Jimmy Heap has shown up in multiple advertisements of the time, in multiple biographies of other country stars, and personal requests from readers, and at least one phone call requesting a story on Jimmy Heap. So here 'tis, on what would have been his 96th birthday on March 3!

For nearly 30 years Jimmy Heap and the Melody Masters was one of the most popular dance bands in Texas; they were as popular as Adolph Hofner and The Texas Top Hands. This was the dance hall era, with literally hundreds of dance halls in the Dallas-Fort Worth-San Antonio- Victoria-Houston dancing diamond; enough halls and dancers to support full-time dance bands playing every night of the week.

James Arthur Heap Jr. (JH) was born on March 3, 1922, in Taylor. In an interview with rockabilly legend Ray Campi, Jimmy related that: “When I was about 18 years old, I was working at a service station and a fellow used to come in there who had a guitar with him. He'd sit there for hours and play and sing Ernest Tubb songs to me.


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