Jimmy Isle Biography
Jimmy Isle and his brother Ronnie were from Nashville, and, at some point in 1957 or 1958 Jimmy recorded “Diamond Ring” and “I’ve Been Waitin’” at a demo studio, Fidelity Recording, in Nashville. Fidelity was owned by Gary Walker, a songwriter from the Springfield, Missouri area, who had come to Nashhville in the wake of his biggest hit, Jim Reeves’ “According To My Heart.” He later repped Lowery Music, and later still started Nashville’s famous used record stores, The Great Escape.
Walker leased these masters to Sun in October 1958, and Sun picked up Isle’s contract. If these sides ever contained any bite or traces of southern music, they were obscured by the hovering presence of the chorus. Isle’s music is essentially geared for the white teenage market. Its most obvious selling feature, here as on his other releases, was a rhythmic hook.
Isle is still in Nashville, and a person less interested in his past life as a Sun recording artist would be hard to find. A wannabe teenage idol thirty-five years on is not always a pretty sight. His brother, Ronnie, later died in a car wreck.