Jim "Dandy" Mangrum

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Jim "Dandy" Mangrum
Jim Dandy.jpg
Jim "Dandy" Mangrum onstage in 1973
Background information
Birth name James Mangrum
Born (1948-03-30) March 30, 1948 (age 66)
Benton Harbor, Michigan
Genres Southern rock
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Lead vocals, washboard
Years active 1965-present
Associated acts The Knowbody Else
Black Oak Arkansas

James Mangrum, better known as Jim "Dandy" Mangrum (born March 30, 1948), is the lead singer and frontman for the American Southern rock band Black Oak Arkansas. He is noted for his raspy voice, long hair, and wild, sexually-explicit stage antics which sometimes included miming sex with a washboard which he often uses to accompany his singing. His stage persona is credited as having been a major influence on Van Halen vocalist David Lee Roth.

Early life[edit]

Mangrum was born in the town of Benton Harbor, Michigan. He was raised a Southern Baptist in the town of Black Oak, Arkansas. Mangrum attended Monette High School, in Monette, Arkansas, where he reportedly stood up in Mrs. Billie Layne's civics class, wrote a '0' on top of his assignment, brought it to her desk, and told her he was quitting school. When she told him that he would not make a living without an education, he responded, "I'll make more money than you will in your lifetime."[1]

Black Oak Arkansas[edit]

While in high school, Mangrum joined a band named The Knowbody Else, replacing Ronnie Smith on vocals, in a mutually-agreed upon decision. Smith went on to become the band's stage production manager. In 1966, Mangrum and members of the group stole musical equipment from Monette high school and Manila high school, and were arrested for grand larceny. They were sentenced to 26 years at the Tucker Prison Farm; however, the sentence was suspended.[2] Mangrum and his group left Arkansas, and moved first to New Orleans, and then to Memphis, Tennessee. In 1970, they traveled to Los Angeles where they signed with Atco Records and released their self-titled first album with their new name Black Oak Arkansas.

In 1973, they released their most successful album, High on the Hog, which reached number 52 in the charts. One of the songs from the album, "Jim Dandy", which was a cover of the 1957 LaVern Baker song, reached number 25 in the Billboard charts, and became their best known single and Mangrum's signature song. It also featured female vocalist Ruby Starr, who traded off vocals with Mangrum.

In 1982, he was involved in a car accident, and broke three vertebrae; however by 1984 he had recovered, and was back performing.[3]

Mangrum continues to record and tour with a series of different Black Oak Arkansas lineups in the present day of 2011.

Black Oak Arkansas's last album was Back Thar N' Over Yonder" on Atlantic Records in 2013. The album received high marks in nearly all reviews, and featured a 2013 reunion of former band members as well as unreleased tracks from the heyday of the band in the 1970s. [4]

Discography[edit]

  • Ready As Hell (1984)
  • The Black Attack Is Back (1986)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mrs. Billie Layne
  2. ^ http://www.classicbands.com, Interview by Gary James with Jim "Dandy" Mangrum, retrieved on 11-12-09
  3. ^ http://www.classicbands.com, retrieved 11-12-09
  4. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Back-Thar-N-Over-Yonder/dp/B00EC6W2ZY