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October 7, 1930 |
Independence, Kansas, U.S.
Jim Halsey (born October 7, 1930) is an American artist manager, agent, and impresario. Halsey has guided the careers of such illustrious personalities as Roy Clark, The Oak Ridge Boys, Waylon Jennings, Reba McEntire, Clint Black, Minnie Pearl, Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakam, The Judds, Lee Greenwood, Hank Thompson, Woody Herman, James Brown, Roy Orbison, Leon Russell, Ricky Nelson, The Righteous Brothers, and many others.
Halsey has organized and presented country music performances. His 1976 tour, presenting Roy Clark and The Oak Ridge Boys in the Soviet Union won praise both culturally and in diplomatic circles. Roy Clark's return tour of the USSR in 1988 was the subject of a television documentary. The booking agency division of The Jim Halsey Company, Inc., was sold to the William Morris Agency in 1990 where he remained a consultant for several years.
Jim Halsey was born in Independence, Kansas to Harry E. Halsey, Jr. and Carrie Lee (Messick) Halsey. He attended Washington School, Jr. and Sr. High School and Independence Junior College. At age twelve, Jim Halsey organized the Junior Marines (ages 9–12) to stimulate war bond sales. They drilled every Saturday at Washington School. Dues were 2 cents per member. A few years later, Halsey formulated his goals after absorbing the story of the great impresario Sol Hurok, in his book “Impresario”. In October 1949, following a vision from a book report assignment on the life of Sol Hurok, junior college student Jim Halsey was inspired to present shows and dances at Memorial Hall and the Independence area. His first show/dance, Leon McAuliffe was the beginning of promotions that would include big band concerts, Broadway shows, classical music presentations, wrestling, ice shows and circuses.
The Jim Halsey Company, Inc.
In December 1951, Halsey founded the Jim Halsey Co. talent agency with first client Hank Thompson and his Brazos Valley Boys, subsequently discovering and adding Wanda Jackson (1956) and Roy Clark (1959), eventually maintaining a roster of 40 to 50 stars. The company over the next 40 years would become the world’s largest country music agency, presenting their artists on a global basis. Sold out concerts from Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden, to Wembley Stadium, London Palladium and Royal Albert Hall, Rossiya Theatre Moscow and Sports Colisseum Leningrad, to Tokyo Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, Soldiers Stadium Chicago, Constitution Hall, Washington D.C. and nearly every major fair and festival around the world. During this 40 years, the company booked over 120,000 concert dates for their roster of stars.
Halsey has organized and presented country music performances all over the world, in many places for the first time. His 1976 tour of the Soviet Union headlining Roy Clark and the Oak Ridge Boys won praise both culturally and in diplomatic circles. The efforts of Jim Halsey expanded country music into Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.
Halsey also owned the Churchill Records label in the 1980s.
The Jim Halsey Institute of Music and Entertainment Business
From 1994–1999 Jim Halsey created and served as director of the award winning Music and Entertainment Business Program at Oklahoma City University in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Additionally, Halsey is a Visiting Professor at HED Music College in Yehud, Israel and lectures and teaches extensively at other colleges and universities around the world. Halsey wrote his first book and seminar series, “How To Make It In The Music Business”. In March 2010, Halsey launched the Jim Halsey Institute of Music and Entertainment Business, an undergraduate music business program at Independence Community College.
In 2010, following the success of The Jim Halsey Institute, Halsey released his second book titled "Starmaker", a comprehensive guide to success in the music industry.
Billboard/Starmaker Worldwide Song Contest
Halsey is the co-creator of the Billboard/Starmaker Worldwide Song Contest which is entering its 19th year, and is co-sponsored by Sonicbids, Disc Makers, Casio, GoGirlsMusic.com, D'Addario Strings, TAXI, Indie Band Manager and BluBlocker Sunglasses. This annual contest awards cash and merchandise for the best new amateur songs in several categories of music: pop, rock, country, gospel, Latin, world, jazz, rhythm & blues and rap.
Awards and Recognitions
- 2009 - Induction to Kansas Music Hall of Fame
- 2005 - Impressario of the Year - Kansas Federation of News
- 2000 - Inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame
- 1999 - Medal of Honor - Cherokee Honor Society (Tahlequah, Oklahoma)
- 1998 - Governor's Award in Arts & Education - Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating.
- 1997 - Lifetime Achievement Award - International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA)
- 1992 - Degree - Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, Baker University
- 1990 - The Jim Halsey Company booking agency division was sold to the William Morris Agency
- 1989 - Medallion - Committee for Artists - Deutsche Democratic Republic
- 1989 - Medallion - Festival of Bregenz - Bregenz, Austria
- 1989 - Citation - Kumamoto Prefectural Government; Japan Mokihiro Hosokawa, Governor
- 1988 - Distinguished Serviced Award - International Theatrical Agents Association
- 1987 - Billboard Magazine "Salutes" The Jim Halsey Company with a special 52 page supplement
- 1987 - The Frédéric Chopin Medal presented by PAGART (The Polish Artists Bureau)
- 1986 - Commendation for Outstanding Leadership in Promoting World Peace and Harmony through the Medium of Visual and Performing Arts from the Mayor of Los Angeles, Tom Bradley
- 1985 - Founding President's Award from the Country Music Association
- 1984 - International Federation of Festival Organizations (FIDOF) Diploma as promoter for the Neewollah Festival for Promoting Peace and Friendship through Music and Art
- 1982 - Distinguished Leadership Award given by Baker University
- 1982 - Named one of Esquire Magazine's Country Music Heavy 100
- 1982 - The FIDOF Oscar, presented in Cannes, France during the world wide MIDEM convention by FIDOF Spain President, Augusto Algueró.
- 1982 - Recipient of citation at the Golden Orpheus Festival in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
- 1980 - Recipient of International Ambassador of Country Music Award for SESAC
- 1980 - Recipient of Outstanding Artistic Achievement in Booking Award from Cashbox Magazine
- 1980 - Recipient of Distinguished Kansan Award from Topeka Capitol
- 1978 - Recipient of Cashbox Magazine "Manager of the Year" Award
- 1978 - Recipient of the International Ambassador of Country Music Award for SESAC
- 1977 - Recipient of the Jim Reeves Memorial Award by the Academy of Country Music
- 1958 - Co-founded the New Neewollah Festival in Independence, Kansas (to become Kansas's largest annual festival)
- 1957 - Recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by the Junior Chamber of Commerce in Independence, Kansas
Halsey has served on the following Boards of Directors: The Country Music Association (CMA), The Academy of Country Music (ACM), National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Austin Chapter), Mercantile Bank and Trust Tulsa, Citizens National Bank, and the Tulsa Philharmonic. Halsey was also a member of the Kansas Film Commission between 1981 and 1985.
- "Halsey Co., William Morris announce merger.".
- Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (21 November 1981). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 4.
- "Jim Halsey Institute".
- "Jim Halsey released "Starmaker"".
- "Kansas Music Hall of Fame Inductees". Retrieved 2011-04-26.
- "Jim Halsey - 2000 Inductee". Retrieved 2011-04-26.
- "Jim Halsey Honored".