Known as “Shanty Jim” for many years, his knowledge of sea songs, infectious enthusiasm, and powerful singing made him the obvious choice to set up a Tyneside shanty group. The first influence on him was Louis Killen, resident at the Bridge in Newcastle in 1963, where Jim started singing. A little later he met “The Master”, Stan Hugill, a man who is almost single-handedly responsible for the high profile of shanties in the folk revival. In 1975, he moved to London where he was resident at several excellent clubs, notably Dingle’s, the Herga, and The Cellar in C Sharp House. He also teamed up with Johnny Collins to create a formidable singing duo which lasted until Johnny’s unfortunate death in 200X. Many American and European tours culminated in them winning the prestigious International Liederfestival in Rostock,Germany in 1983 against competition from 19 countries. Since returning to his native Tyneside in 1985, he has continued with his solo career, singing mostly in sea songs and shanties, with a particular interest in those from the West Indies.