Mark James Russell

Books, blog and other blather

Jimmy Lee Jones

I was walking through the Yongsan Electronics Market last week when I stumbled across this fun find — the first album by Jimmy Lee Jones, from 1981.

Jimmy Lee Jones (aka Lee Jeong-myeong) lived in Nashville for many years in the 1980s, where he won a songwriting competition and recorded a couple of albums. In the 1990s, he opened a bar/cafe in Daejeon called Palomino, where he still works pretty much every day. His open-mic nights were a huge hits in the 1990s, before the economic crisis.

This album, like his others, is a mix of English and Korean. Basically the same songs twice, in English on side A and in Korean on side B. Although Jimmy always called himself a country singer, the country on this album is in more of a 1980s easy-listening style… a bit like Leonard Cohen’s album Various Positions or Recent Songs (think Coming Back to You).

I remember Jimmy because I used to attend the open-mic nights at Palomino with some regularity back in the day (although I never performed… just there to listen). The old part of Daejeon is pretty forgotten these days, but back in the 1990s, before Dunsan-dong was finished, it was a pretty happening part of town. Jimmy was very nice about hanging out with a noob like myself, taking me around with his friends to some great little restaurants around town.

There is an interview with Jimmy (although very poor quality) on a local TV show here. You can also see him perform on that program (also low quality) here.

Oh, and here is another I found.

Anyhow, to find Jimmy’s old album (in near-mint condition, too) was a really fun little accident. I am pretty sure none of his albums were ever issued on CD, but if that ever changes, I will be sure to update this post.

UPDATE: Well, that did not take long. Two minutes after I post this, I discover Jimmy has a blog (mostly just Korean). Lots of good stuff there, including a pretty good timelime of his life here (English and Korean).

1 Comment

  1. I saw a Korean country music band once. Their jeans had worn pockets because of the chewing tobacco, and their belt buckles were larger than the fig leaves worn by Adam and Eve.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


© 2017 Mark James Russell

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑