James Bonamy

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James Bonamy
Birth name James Michael Bonamy[1]
Born (1972-04-29) April 29, 1972 (age 45)
Winter Park, Florida, U.S.[2]
Origin Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.
Genres Country
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1995–1997
Labels Epic
Associated acts Doug Johnson

James Michael Bonamy (born April 29, 1972) is an American country music artist. He released two studio albums (1996's What I Live to Do and 1997's Roots and Wings, both on the Epic Records Nashville label. These albums produced seven singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts, of which the highest-peaking was "I Don't Think I Will" at number 2.

Early life[edit]

Bonamy was born in Winter Park, Florida in 1972.[2] Growing up around the beach as well as around dirt car-racing tracks near his home, he played outside linebacker and fullback in high school football. Bonamy's father was of Lebanese descent.[3] He graduated from Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1990. After graduating in the fall of 1990, he followed his brother to the University of Alabama. He spent most of his freshman year sitting in the off-campus apartment he and his brother shared, playing guitar and trying to write country songs. After performing on a local radio show in Alabama, he quit school to work at a gift shop in Orlando, Florida.[4] Later, he performed in a program called "Country Music USA" at the Opryland USA theme park in Nashville, Tennessee.[2] Bonamy also competed on Star Search.[5]

1995–1996: What I Live to Do[edit]

In 1995, he was signed to Epic Records,[2] and his debut album, What I Live to Do, was released in 1996 under the production of Doug Johnson. The first single, "Dog on a Toolbox," peaked at number 64 on the Hot Country Songs charts, having been withdrawn as a single because label staff thought that there were too many songs about dogs at the time.[6] After this song was withdrawn, its original b-side, "She's Got a Mind of Her Own" was shipped as the second single.[7] This song peaked at 26 on the country music charts, followed by the number 2 hit "I Don't Think I Will" and the number 27 "All I Do Is Love Her."[7] At the 1997 Country Music Association awards, Bonamy was nominated as Top New Male Vocalist,[6] and TNN Music City News nominated him as Star of Tomorrow.[2] In addition, he toured in 1997 with Emilio Navaira, Clay Walker and Terri Clark.[6]

Dan Kuchar of Country Standard Time gave the album a mixed review, praising Bonamy's voice but criticizing the songwriting on most of the tracks and saying that the album did not have a distinctive sound.[8]

1997: Roots and Wings[edit]

A second album, Roots and Wings, followed in 1997.[9] Its lead-off single "The Swing" was his last top 40 hit at number 31; the other two singles were "Naked to the Pain" and "Little Blue Dot", reaching numbers 65 and 63 respectively.[7] Bonamy wrote the track "I Knew I'd Need My Heart Someday" with Johnson and Pat Bunch, and chose the title track (which was written by Skip Ewing and Bill Anderson and previously recorded by Doug Supernaw[6]) at the suggestion of Epic's A&R director, Debbie Zavitson.[6]

This album also received a mixed review from Country Standard Time, with Larry Stevens praising "Daddy Never Had a Chance in Hell" but criticizing the rest of the album for having a more pop-oriented sound.[10] Thom Owens of Allmusic gave a three-star rating out of five, saying that he considered it an improvement over the debut.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Bonamy has not recorded an album since 1997. By 2002, he had moved to Cypress, Texas, where he worked at a communications company.[12] He works as a worship leader at Christ Fellowship in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.[13] He works as worship leader at Mobberly Baptist Church in Longview, Texas.



Title Album details Peak chart positions
US Country US US Heat
What I Live to Do 16 112 1
Roots and Wings
  • Release date: June 24, 1997
  • Label: Epic Records
25 11
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Peak chart
US Country CAN Country
1995 "Dog on a Toolbox" 64 What I Live to Do
1996 "She's Got a Mind of Her Own" 26 20
"I Don't Think I Will" 2 8
"All I Do Is Love Her" 27 22
1997 "The Swing" 31 16 Roots and Wings
"Naked to the Pain" 65 70
"Little Blue Dot" 63
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1995 "Dog on a Toolbox"[14] John Lloyd Miller
1996 "I Don't Think I Will"[15] Greg Crutcher
"All I Do Is Love Her"[16] Michael Salomon
1997 "The Swing"[17] chris rogers
"Naked to the Pain"[18]


  1. ^ Full name per Broadcast Music Incorporated database
  2. ^ a b c d e Summers, Kim. "James Bonamy biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  3. ^ With A No. 1 Hit, Bonamy Is Barking Up The Right Tree
  4. ^ "Florida Native James Bonamy Got Start On Alabama Radio Show". Orlando Sentinel. 26 April 1996. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  5. ^ Lomartire, Paul (11 October 1996). "DAYTONA'S BONAMY SERIOUS ABOUT MUSIC". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Flippo, Chet (19 April 1997). "James Bonamy Remains Dogged with New Epic Set". Billboard: 30, 55. 
  7. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 54. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  8. ^ Kuchar, Dan. "What I Live to Do review". Country Standard Time. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  9. ^ James Bonamy Biography: OLDIES.com
  10. ^ Stephens, Larry. "Roots and Wings review". Country Standard Time. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  11. ^ Owens, Thom. "Roots and Wings review". Allmusic. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  12. ^ http://www.cmt.com/news/hot-talk/1458841/hot-talk-another-tour-more-books-thanksgiving-and-lost-stars.jhtml
  13. ^ "Night of Prayer Encounter". Christ Fellowship. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  14. ^ "CMT : Videos : James Bonamy : Dog on a Toolbox". Country Music Television. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  15. ^ "CMT : Videos : James Bonamy : I Don't Think I Will". Country Music Television. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  16. ^ "CMT : Videos : James Bonamy : All I Do Is Love Her". Country Music Television. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  17. ^ "CMT : Videos : James Bonamy : The Swing". Country Music Television. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  18. ^ "CMT : Videos : James Bonamy : Naked to the Pain". Country Music Television. Retrieved August 1, 2011.