(Jim Dye , Tronic BMI)
A Tommy Hill / Starday Studio Production
Ted Dye, back left, Jimmy Dye, back right
Bill Smith, center, drummer
We played around Vincennes and in Terre Haute at the Club Idaho in 1963. We were the house band there for awhile and opened for a group called “The Champs” (that had out Tequila), with Jimmy Seals and Dash Crofts, later to become “Seals and Crofts”. They were there with us for a week. We also played in Evansville in ’64 on the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars, opening for, Johnny Tillotson, Paul and Paula and Gene Pitney. In late 1964, “The Seventeens” went to Nashville and made a record.. It was on the Starday [ed. actually Nashville, a Starday subsidiary ] Record Label and the first side was called I’m Not talking and the flip side was Fanny Mae... The songs were sung by our band’s leader, Jimmy Dye. We went on tour after that and played in Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, Illinois and back to Indiana. We came back home to Vincennes and reformed the band as “The Jimmy Dye Combo” and played locally at the Showboat across the river from Vincennes until I was drafted into the US Army in May 1966.
Jimmy Dye died in 2005. Bridget Ikerd remembers :
I read with interest and sadness Dave Kyle's letter about Jimmy Dye. Dave, who is a great musician himself, spoke with good words about this wonderful icon of the Idaho Club in the '60s. I also was friends with the Jimmy Dye band, as I worked at the Idaho Club myself for seven years. We became good friends, all of us, and I as well as many others thought the world of him.
As Dave said, Jimmy never drank, smoked or did drugs, and that alone was to be admired at that time. But above all, his beautiful clear voice is what we will all remember. He sang with such clarity and fullness that he made every song special, especially his ballads. He was friendly to everyone and tried to fulfill everyone's requests. His band followed in the tracks of such musicians as Hoover Baker and the Embers and Jim Foley and the Invasions when he started playing at the Idaho Club.
Jimmy's music and voice caught on immediately at the Idaho Club and before long, that was where all of us wanted to go. Sure, we had good bands everywhere at that time, we had Boone Dunbar at the Hyspot, Sam Swayze at the Alibi Lounge and several great bands of the time at the Sixth Avenue (at that time it was a respectable place to go to hear bands and dance).
But far and above all was the Jimmy Dye band at the Idaho Club. People came from all around to hear his velvet voice and to hear the talented musicians who played with him; Ted Dye, Steve Ridge, Denney Jewell and John Lamb, just to mention a few. They were all talented in their own right as well. John and Steve could also sing as well as play keyboard and drums. But Jimmy was the great one; without him and his music, the Idaho would have been just another place to drink and dance. His friendliness and personality, besides his voice, drew people from far and near.
As my husband Bill says, “Anyone can sing a song, but nobody can sing a ballad like Jimmy Dye.” Goodbye my dear, dear friend. You will be missed by all of us.