Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Heart and Soul of Chicago Native James Holvay; "Sweet Soul Song" EP Drops Today

From Chicago to LA and back again, There’s magic in the air tonight and it’s thanks to a story, some 50+ years in the making, of how a group of talented musicians, many of them undiscovered, would come together, in a story of reaching the top of the charts on Billboard, Cashbox, and Record World, fueled by determination to carve out each leg of a journey that would take his songs all over the world. One man would stay the course over 50 years in between paths that kept him far from the stage and spotlights in between each foray into music. But still the music kept calling his name. When it comes to The Buckinghams, it just so happened that the body of work he wrote solo or with Gary Beisbier made possible a #1 hit record for The Buckinghams and the devotion to their music that comes from being named by Billboard Magazine as "The Most Listened to Band in America."

Am I talking of the music of The Buckinghams, the five-man band from Chicago who found fame and acclaim thanks in large measure to songs Holvay wrote, many together with Gary Beisbier?

Could the magic emanate from a man who cofounded a band called The MOB, originally the first Chicago horn band to hit the streets and clubs and gain accolades for their shows vs. their record spins?

Yes, perhaps, but, could it be Holvay's own musical compositions that find a powerful sold-out stage musical "The Eastside (LA) Heartbeats," based on authentic experiences that created powerful sounds and memories coming out of Boyle Heights and east LA?

Can this same man bide his time, put his career as a musician on hold, take time out to create a family, take on and succeed powerfully at two career "day jobs" that force him to bottle up the musical genie for two decades, only to revisit his first passion for soul music, which undergirded virtually every song he wrote, in his own way?

Yes, that's right and that one man is James Steven Holvay, originally of Brookfield/Lyons Township.

On April 16, even more fans of sweet soul music, northern soul, rhythm and blues, and all things in between are in for one sweet surprise after another, to be discovered on Holvay's new EP, "Sweet Soul Song."

Chances are good you might have heard a track or two from the 5-song EP in the past month as a few tracks have sprung from the vault, but just in case you haven't, try this one first.
The album's title track is a clear winner.

Other tracks are distinct, joyous, on target and exactly what you'd expect from man who is driven by music and has been all of his life. The price of a full-time career in music is high because it demands to be attended to. It will not be denied, the euphoric high that comes from having a pro group of musicians deliver exactly what you heard in your head. And for as long as it took, James closed the door on his muse and succeeded as a corporate executive (and a powerful motivator of all his teams) for two very large office corporations. No one there had any idea of his past background in music. Not a clue...

Many years later, after an important period of introspection, fueled by the love and encouragement of many close friends and family, Holvay stepped out once more into the breach, only to reveal his best work ever. You'll hear five of those songs on "Sweet Soul Song." Find the rest of James' new music on Facebook and YouTube. Download them today and understand the multifaceted soul behind the man whose stagename was very rightly "Jimmy Soul."

How to Say Thank You for the Music

If you've enjoyed the music of James Holvay these past 50-something years, here's a few ways you can let him know:

1) Like James Holvay Music on Facebook:

2) Follow him on Spotify:

3) Subscribe to his YouTube channel:

4) Add your comments to his Facebook pages and YouTube links.

It's also a great chance to say "thank you" for all the good music so far. And, when there's an EP in sight, who knows, maybe an LP is just a song away.

[ Special thanks are due to Joseph Pytel, Chicago music historian and specialist in the topics of Carl Bonafede, The MOB, James Holvay, Gary Beisbier, and other music that relates to his diverse musical interests. So much of the historical material that has been added to YouTube is thanks to music historians sharing their photos and music with him for ultimate preservation for all to discover and enjoy. And thanks are due to Mike Baker (Forgotten 45s site) for preserving early history of The MOB ]

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