James R. Flynn (songwriter)

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Jim Flynn
Songwriter Jim Flynn in 2009.jpg
Jim Flynn, in June 2009.
Background information
Birth name James Ronald Flynn
Born (1938-03-24) March 24, 1938 (age 77)
Origin Lewiston, Maine, USA
Genres Country music
Occupation(s) Songwriter; former educator
Years active 1960–current

Jim Flynn (Born March 24, 1938) is an American country music songwriter.[1][2][3][4]

Early life[edit]

James was born in Lewiston, Maine to Lawrence and Katherine (McIlroy) Flynn. He is the fourth of five sons. He grew up in Monmouth, Maine and Lewiston, where he was a member of a high school choral group.[5]

Flynn, first on left, first row, at reception Fort Dix, New Jersey.

In 1956, Flynn joined the United States Army. He was part of "Operation Gyroscope", and ultimately was deployed to Germany as part of the Cold War efforts of post-World War II.[6][7] Flynn served as a radio operator. In 1957, he took part in a quartet known as "Tune Toppers" that enjoyed moderate success[citation needed] and was featured in the 10th Infantry Division Band and Chorus in Würzburg.[8] The Band and Chorus was disbanded in early 1958 [9] and Flynn was honorably discharged in June 1959, three years after his enlistment.[10]

As a civilian, Flynn returned to Lewiston and worked his way through business college, at what was then called the "Auburn Maine School of Commerce." Flynn planned to become a business education teacher. While in college, Flynn worked as a DJ at WLAM, Lewiston-Auburn, Maine. After three years at the Auburn Maine School of Commerce, Flynn decided to transfer his credits to Husson College in Bangor, Maine. Flynn graduated from Husson in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in business education. With his degree, he became a high school teacher and sports coach. In 1965, a new revised GI Bill was passed, and Flynn decided to further his education. Flynn earned a master's degree in secondary school administration from the University of Southern Maine, Portland-Gorham campus, in 1974. He left school teaching when he was offered a job by Southwestern Publishing selling textbooks to public schools in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts. Throughout his life, his working career was in education, either as a teacher or an educational salesman.[11]

Status as a Songwriter[edit]

Flynn is well known in the New England country music circle for his songwriting.[11] [12] [13] Flynn wrote his first song in 1960. This song was recorded by a group called "The Citations." Flynn received his first songwriting contract from Jimmie Davis, former governor of Louisiana and a member of the both the "Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum" and the "Country Music Songwriters Hall of Fame." Davis never did record Flynn's song, but his encouragement motivated Flynn to keep writing. Gene Hooper cut one of Flynn's songs in 1974. The song was called "Caroline Stood by Me," and it became a "pick hit of the week" on Maine's biggest country music station, WPOR. Since that time Flynn's songwriting has expanded, and Flynn's efforts have been rewarded with many cuts of his songs by various artists around world, mainly the country genre.[14] Flynn's writing skill has also has been recognized by many local and national news organizations.[2][3] One of Flynn's songs, called "Time I Change My Name to Hank,", stayed on the European Country Music Charts for sixteen weeks in 2005.[15] Flynn is affiliated with BMI and registers a number of his songs with them.[16]


Philosophy[edit]

Flynn pictured on a bench in Lewiston, Maine.

Flynn's philosophy on songwriting is interesting. He believes he is a "small frog in a small pond."[citation needed] Flynn finds enjoyment in simply knowing people are enjoying his music. Flynn adopts some of his songs to video, that he posts to a YouTube account. On video sharing sites such as YouTube, Flynn's songs have found moderate success, having been played over 500,000 times, as of December 2011. Flynn's songs are played regularly by various artists on independent country stations.[17]

Flynn enjoys writing story songs, and songs that pull the listener in. The song he personally believes is his best is titled "MegaFlight." MegaFlight discuses how it would be if it where possible to visit lost relatives and friends in heaven. The song tells the story of a man who was married to a woman that died in childbirth. In the song, the unnamed man goes to an airport to inquire about purchasing a jet ticket to heaven for him and his young child.[5] He has also written songs in other styles, such as "The Ballad of L.L. Bean".[18]


Awards and Achievements[edit]

Flynn is noted for his song writing ability,[11] and has been rewarded for his achievements by many organizations. In the 2005 DECMA awards, he won first place in the "Best Folk Songwriter" category for a song called "The Ballad of L.L. Bean", and took second place in two other songwriting categories.[19] In 2006 he wrote a song titled, "The Opening Act," a song that later became the title track to child performer Brian Wardwell's first album.[20] At the DECMA "Legends Show", Jim was awarded a Founders Award for his efforts in behalf of the Maine country music community.[21]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Sun Journal Newspaper Clipping". Sun Journal. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  2. ^ a b Erskine, Rhonda (2006). "Young Singer Sets His Sights On Nashville". WCSH6.com. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  3. ^ a b "Cowboy Kid Aims for Nashville". Sun Journal. 2004-07-30. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  4. ^ "BMI Repertoire Search". BMI Repertoire Search: Flynn, James Ronald. 2005. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  5. ^ a b Country Rose (alias) (2008). "An interview with songwriter Jim Flynn.". The "Country Rose" Internet Radio Show. SoundClick. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  6. ^ "Operation Gyroscope Details". US Army. 1956. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  7. ^ "The details of cold war Operation Gyroscope". US Army. 1956. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  8. ^ Unknown, (1957). "Tune Toppers". Stars and Stripes European Addition. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  9. ^ Army Information
  10. ^ Jim Flynn (2008). "Jim Flynn's Biography".  Missing or empty |title= (help); [dead link]
  11. ^ a b c Hartill, Daniel (2004-07-30). "Making a song". Sun Journal. Retrieved 2008-06-26. [dead link]
  12. ^ Flynn, Jim (2004-07-30). "Christmas for Families Yard Sale & Country Concert". The Official Web Site of Stevie Cee. Archived from the original on 2008-06-14. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  13. ^ "Jose Daniel". Wayne Graham Ministries web site. 2005. Retrieved 2008-06-26. [dead link]
  14. ^ "BMI Repertoire Search". BMI Repertoire Search: Flynn, Jim. 2005. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  15. ^ "DJ Playlist Post". 2006. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  16. ^ "BMI Repertoire Search". BMI Repertoire Search: Flynn, Jim. 2005. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  17. ^ "Stardust Records Message Board". Stardust Records. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  18. ^ "Award-winning 9-year-old country singer teams up with Lewiston songwriter {audio interview}". Sun Journal. 2004-01-09. Retrieved 2008-06-26. [dead link]
  19. ^ "DECMA Awards 2005". Down East Country Music Association web site. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  20. ^ Wardwell, Adam. "Brian Wardwell's Biography". BrianWardwell.com. Archived from the original on 2008-06-28. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  21. ^ "Legends Awards 2005 List". Down East Country Music Association web site. Retrieved 2008-06-26.