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Posts Tagged ‘Big Jim Sullivan’

Died On This Date (October 2, 2012) Big Jim Sullivan / Legendary UK Session Guitarist; Played On Over 1000 Charting Singles

Posted by themusicsover on October 2, 2012

Jim Sullivan
February 14, 1941 – October 2, 2012

Big Jim Sullivan was one of the most requested and prolific session guitarists that England ever produced.  Over a career that spanned over 50 years, he played on around 1000 records that charted in the UK, more than 50 reached number one.  Legend has it that he played on upwards of 3000 records a year during the height of his career.  Sullivan was just 14 when he started learning to play the guitar, and in just two years, he was playing professionally.  In 1959, he joined a band called the Wildcats who were backing Marty Wilde at the time.  The following year, the Wildcats backed Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent on the infamous UK tour that ultimately took Cochran’s life.  Over the next two decades, Sullivan became one of the most in-demand guitarists in the business.  He also gave a young Ritchie Blackmore guitar lessons and helped convince Jim Marshall to make his now famous amps.  During this time, Sullivan was one of the earliest to make use of feedback, the fuzzbox and talkbox, which was made into more or less a household name by Peter Frampton on his classic Frampton Comes Alive album of 1976. The short list who employed Sullivan to play on their records is made up of the Kinks, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Dusty Springfield, Marianne Faithfull, David Bowie, Donovan, and Frank Zappa.  He was also a familiar face playing alongside Tom Jones on his American variety show.  Sullivan also found time to record several albums of his own as well. Big Jim Sullivan was 71 when he passed away on October 2, 2012.  He was reportedly suffering from diabetes and heart disease at the time of his death.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus at Bob Dylan Examiner for the assist.

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