Story I wrote for dear Jimmy Wyble which will be in Just Jazz Guitar Magazine in the May issue.
I first met Jimmy Wyble about 5 years ago. We knew of each other but never met before. We had an immediate connection . Something was out of the ordinary in the sense that we both felt we had known each other for many years. We had phone contact and he came to New York on October 3rd, 2006.The guitar community gave him a big party. We held it at my apartment and it was such a blast. Jim Hershman organized it and some of the guitarists that came by included Gene Bertoncini, Paul Meyers, Jeff Barone, James Chrillo, Scott Dubois, Carl Barry, Howard Alden, and James Silberstein. We all played a few tunes but Jimmy didn't play. Terrie Richards, Michelle Farlow, and Gayle Tapper were also there and were having a great time. As is usual with Jimmy around, lots of love and laughs. A year or so later, Jimmy was back in town and stopped by my apartment with Michelle Farlow, Gayle Tapper and Jon Luc, a friend of Michelle's from Paris. He did play that night and it was stunning. I was in amazement at his dexterity, especially at his age. I feel like a fool for not recording it. I think I was too much in a trance watching him to think about that.
To change direction for a moment, last year I found out about my real father. His name was Jack Rivers Lewis and I discovered he was an immense talent who sang and played great guitar in the country swing mode. His hero was George Barnes. I found out he was quite famous with his own radio show in the 40's. He spent most of his time in California and Seattle. I bought all the Cd's that were available and I was really surprised. How could I possibly know my father was that fine a player? My mother didn't even know. Some months after learning all this I met my half sister Debbie. I loved her right away. We talk often and I'm hoping to see her again soon.
All this leads up to this next part of the story. The last time I saw Jimmy was at Jim Hershman's gig at the “Novo Lounge” in Jackson Heights on March 23rd, 2009 It was a Monday night and Jimmy was in good spirits. As soon as I saw him, I felt something. I asked him if he ever met Jack Rivers Lewis. He said, “Jack Rivers!, sure I knew him, he was a very dear friend of mine. We played together and even did some recording on some jingle dates.” He went on and on about Jack saying how much he liked him and what a great player etc,etc. He looked at me and said,” Why do you ask me that” I said, “ Well, he was my father”. Jimmy stared at me for a few seconds and said, “ it's true, I can see it in your eyes and face.” For the rest of that evening, he held on to me like I was Jack Rivers himself. He cried a few times and seemed to be overwhelmed with emotion. I was also. I gave him something great that evening. That's what I mean about the connection we had. I loved Jimmy and he loved me. What an amazing thing to happen between us.
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Story- Jimmy Wyble