Jimmy "Midnight Cowboy" Pryor, also the King of the Blues in Iowa
was born in Beckley, West Virginia on February 5, 1916. Jimmy got his
start in the music business when he was eight years old. He learned to
play the piano by watching an old piano player. Like many true
musicians, he has never learned to read music but never misses a note.
Jimmy graduated from high school at age 16 from Mount Hope, West Virginia in
1934. During his high school years he carried a ukulele to school
everyday, where he entertained all those who would listen to him.
first recording contract was with Flick Records Company in Detroit, Michigan
in 1959. His show bill name was "The Batman". Soon after
his contract was established, his booking manager encouraged him to go to Des
Moines, Iowa where he would be able to establish a sound musical career.
Jimmy has done just that. He has played in clubs all over the state and
is introduced to the stage as the "Midnight Cowboy".
has established a long history of playing with various artists; John Lee
Hooker, Sonny Boy Williams Sr., Cab Calloway, Count Basie,
B.B.King, Tiny Bradshaw, Duke Ellington, to name a
few. Jimmy is not only recognized by talented Blues musicians, he also
played with various Gospel groups such as The Sons Of Harmony in Oak
Hill, West Virginia. The group was highlighted on the radio station WOAY.
Des Moines, Iowa, Jimmy formed his own gospel group called The Mighty
Revelators. The talent of this musician has been widely recognized
by his recent inductions into both the Professional Musician and Entertainers
Club of Iowa, Iowa Country Music Hall Of Fame and the Iowa
Blues Hall Of Fame.
has played with many talented local musicians and is currently the showman of
Fat Tuesday. When not playing a regular gig, he rarely misses the
opportunity to hit the stage at a jam session at
local clubs. Although he can play the piano and guitar, today Jimmy
travels light carrying his treasured horn which he started using in
1991. The horn is unique in that it's considered to be a kazoo inside a
horn shell. However, it has a much richer sound and blends in with any
combination of instruments. It was manufactured by Mattel Toy Company in
1967 for a limited period of time.
"Midnight Cowboy" has made a significant contribution to the music
arena and enjoys all types of music. Today, at 84 years young, he is a
favorite stage personality wherever he performs as he loves to interact
with the audience.
recently released a CD of vintage recordings from 1967 titled, Jimmy
Pryor One More Time, Live at Pines Club. Be sure to pick up
a copy next time you run into Jimmy...