Here are two great standards performed by one of the greatest crooners, the legendary P.J. Proby.
P.J. Proby (born James Marcus Smith, in 1938) is an American singer, songwriter, and actor, who has portrayed Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison in musical theater productions and had a recording career in his own right.
In 2008, Proby celebrated his 70th birthday and EMI released the Best of the EMI Years 1961–1972. Proby continues to write and record music on his own independent record label, Select Records, and performs across the UK on various Sixties themed concerts.
Proby was born in Houston, Texas, United States. After graduation he moved to California to become a motion picture actor and recording artist. In 1962 he began writing songs and recording demos for artists such as Elvis Presley and Bobby Vee.
Proby travelled to London. He appeared on The Beatles' television special in 1964. Proby scored a string of exuberantly-styled UK top 20 hits in 1964 and 1965 including "Hold Me", "Together", "Somewhere" and "Maria" (the latter two taken from the musical West Side Story). Further, of particular note to Beatles fans, Proby recorded the Lennon–McCartney composition "That Means a Lot", a song The Beatles had attempted several times before deciding to give it away.
In 1967 Proby scored his only Billboard Hot 100 Top 30 hit with "Niki Hoeky". In September 1968, Proby recorded the album Three Week Hero, which was released in 1969. A collection of country-style ballads mixed with blues, it utilised The New Yardbirds, later to become Led Zeppelin, as Proby's backing band.
In 1971 he appeared on stage as Cassio in a rock musical version of Shakespeare's Othello, called Catch My Soul. After Catch My Soul, he continued to perform mostly in cabaret and nightclubs, singing 1960s ballads and rhythm and blues material. He portrayed Elvis Presley in a theatrical production of Elvis – The Musical, winning a Best Musical of the Year award.
In 1978, Proby recorded with the Dutch rock group Focus releasing Focus con Proby. He then returned to singing in clubs, before embarking on a change of direction.
In 1985, Proby recorded a version of Gloria Jones's "Tainted Love" for the Manchester based Savoy Records label which was followed by further covers of "Love Will Tear Us Apart", "Anarchy in the UK", Prince song "Sign of the Times", "In the Air Tonight", and "Garbageman" for the same label.
In the early 1990s Proby was offered a recording contract by John G. Sutton from the Preston-based J'Ace Records. This led to the release of a single, "Stage of Fools", and an album, Thanks. It was distributed internationally by BMG.
Granada TV featured Proby in a documentary around this time. He appeared on stage as himself in the biographical musical Good Rockin' Tonight, followed by playing Roy Orbison in Only The Lonely. A year later Proby returned to a new production of Elvis – The Musical, and released the album Legend.
In 1997, Proby toured with The Who in the United States and in Europe, performing as 'The Godfather' in the road production of Quadrophenia. After Quadrophenia, Proby continued singing by doing performances in UK, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
In 1993 Proby appeared in the Jack Good biographical musical Good Rockin' Tonite – as himself. Two years later in 1995, Proby appeared in the Roy Orbison tribute show, Only The Lonely. By 1996 Proby was acting again in Elvis – The Musical.
In 2002, Van Morrison recorded a song for his album Down the Road entitled "Whatever Happened to P.J. Proby?".
In August 2004, he also toured in Australia. From February until May 2006, Proby was touring with the 'Solid Silver Sixties Show 2006' - and went through six road managers/drivers – throughout much of the UK, ending at the London Palladium.
In November 2008, Proby celebrated his 70th birthday. To commemorate the year, EMI released a 25-track retrospective, Best of the EMI Years 1961-1972. Also around this time, Proby wrote and recorded a Christmas single entitled "The Bells Of Christmas Day".
In 2010 Proby toured in 'Sixties Gold' another revival series of shows.has toured on the UK wide "Sixties Gold Tour" between September and December 2012.
Enjoy P.J. Proby's great voice and style!