Jim Boutwell is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist living in St. Petersburg, FL. He came here in 1957 from Watertown, NY. Having taught himself how to play the guitar, he got a late start with entertaining in public. He has been playing guitar for over twenty years, and performing for the last fifteen in many different places. When not in concert, he teaches other people to play at a local adult recreation center once a week, and gives his time and talent to various nursing homes, retirement homes, and mobile home parks for the elderly. In 1990, he teamed up with a friend, Carl Seis, to form a duo called '3rd Egg Free.' They sang pretty good harmony, so they did a lot of Simon & Garfunkel, Crosby Stills & Nash, and so forth. They played at pool side parties, weddings, funerals, bowling alleys, restaurants, bars, military clubs, theaters, and anywhere else they could. They also performed for various functions put on by the local police department and sheriffs office. For their performances, they received many awards together. Jim himself has performed in some prestigious venues such as Ruth Eckerd Hall (Clearwater, FL), The Largo Cultural Center (Largo, FL), Skipper's Smokehouse (Tampa, FL), and has had two live concerts at the State Theater (St. Petersburg, FL). In 1999, Jim put on a tribute to John Denver at the Largo Cultural Center which was quite successful. In November of 2002, Jim had the greatest thrill of his career, when he was asked by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund in Washington, D.C. to perform a song that he had written, 'Unsung Hero', at the 20th Anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Others who shared the stage that day with Jim and 15 other daytime performers were as follows: Paul Revere and the Raiders, Country Joe MacDonald, Irish Tenor John McDermott, and Scott MacKenzie. The concert was held on the reflecting pool steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Jim came out with a CD in 1992 entitled, 'Dancing On The Wind.' In 2003, he retitled the CD, 'Unsung Hero,' in honor of his performance in Washington, D.C. Artists that have inspired Jim's music are: Peter, Paul and Mary, Cat Stevenes, Jim Croce, John Denver, Gordon Lightfood, and Harry Chapin. Jim's other interests include: Helicopters, Hockey, the North Carolina Mountains, and Native American History. Jim is still performing where ever he can, and hopes to give a free '55 And Still Alive' Concert, on his birthday in December. Song Biographies: 'Harry We Hardly Knew Ya' I wrote this song in tribute to one of my idols, the late, great Harry Chapin. I loved Harry, the man, the storyteller, the poet, and the performer. Harry was one of the greatest storytellers of our time. He was also a great humanitarian in all of his work for world hunger. When I first heard his song 'Taxi,' I knew it was destined to become a classic. I was fortunate enough to meet Harry at one of his concerts and it was a great thrill for me. 'An Angel and A Lady' The angel and lady in this song is my wife of 21 years, Sheila. She is my everything. I got the idea for this song from living with her all these years. There isn't much of anything that she cannot do. She can cook, sew, paint, build, tear down, plan, comfort, and heal. An independent women to say the least. 'Dear Abby' This was my very first attempt at song writing. I got to thinking about all the women who have relied on Abby for her advice for particular problems. I wondered what it would be like for a man to call upon her expertise. 'Unsung Hero' I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1968, and volunteered for service in Vietnam. All my friends were being sent there, and I didn't have a girl at the time to leave behind, so I thought it was the thing to do. I never got to Vietnam, as I was honorably discharged in 1969 for medical reasons. Some of my friends never came back. In 1990, I joined a newly formed group, the Suncoast Vietnam Veterans. I helped found and participate in a re-enactment of a patrol in Vietnam that we called 'The Last Patrol,' which inspired me to write this song. They quickly adopted this song as their lead intro for the re-enactment and they still use it to this day. It has been heard on radio and television, and my performance of the song in Washington for the 20th Anniversary of the Wall was broadcast on worldwide t.v. This song is a tribute to Veterans of all wars. God bless them all. 'She Shines Her Light On Me' When I was 19 years old I met a girl who was 16. We quickly became good friends and found that we both had a great love for music and singing. We also found that we pretty much sang in perfect harmony and it was terrific. After being discharged from the Navy, I got back home and discovered she had moved to Alaska with her parents. I was heartbroken, as Alaska is quite far from Florida. In 1992 I gave a concert at the State Theater in St. Pete. I had only seen her again about one time in 25 years. At this time, she was living in Arkansas, but surprised me by showing up at my door the night before the show. I cannot tell you what that meant to me. We spent a week being together again, and she left again to go back to Arkansas. The song was born out of the idea that she just appeared and left in a flash, similar to a shooting star. But in the short time that she was here, she inspired me to not only write this song, but many others. Her name is Susan, but since the very day I met her, I have called her Chickie. We now see each other about every 2 years and remain in contact all of the time. Our friendship is now in it's 36th year. I think that is something really special, as she is also. 'Dancing On The Wind' This was the original title of my CD. It's a song about the love of nature and the mountains, as well as the yearning to find the right partner in life. 'The Little Prince, The Prophet, and You' At just about the right time in my life, I met a young lady that taught me a lot about life and love, self-esteem, and dreams. She introduced me to Khahil Gabran's, 'The Prophet', and another great book called 'The Little Prince.' Both of these books have profound answers to many of life's questions. As I sing in the song, I will always love her for showing me the way. 'Monotony' I have been at my place of work for 28 years now. There is only one way to describe this fact... MONOTONY! 'Old Friends, New Places' I am not really sure how I came up with this song. It just came to me. I was thinking about the many people we meet in life that are here one minute and gone the next, but we still think of them always. Also, partial proceeds from the sales of this album go to benefit Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
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