NASHVILLE, TN — James Neely Church, known professionally as Jimmy Church, was honored by the Pearl High School Heritage Classes Foundation, Inc. as the 2018 Living Legend. The “Living Legends” program is an initiative of the Foundation to recognize the alumni of the school who have attained outstanding success in their fields locally, nationally, and internationally, and their contributions to the community.
More than two hundred friends, relatives, and business associates of Jimmy gathered in the Crown Room at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel on Friday, February 9th. Musical entertainment during the reception was Provided by Thomas Cain. Jimmy was honored for his many accomplishments by his classmates from the Pearl High School Class of 1957 with the presentation of a crystal microphone. He was also gifted with a crystal vase by the Foundation.
Tributes were given by Michael Gray of the Country Music Hall of Fame, by author and journalist, Timothy Ghianni, and by his sons, Timothy, Wendell and Jimi, “The Brothers Three”.
Moments of nostalgia were provided by Lorenzo Washington, curator of the Jefferson Street Sound Museum. His narrated video of Jimmy, his band, the many famous African American entertainers, and the nightclubs located on Jefferson Street where they performed revived many fond memories of those in attendance.
Clips of their performances on Night Train, the locally produced late night television Show, were also included. A highlight of the evening was an onstage appearance of Frank Howard, Hershel Carter, and Charles “Wigg” Walker, local entertainers and performers with Jimmy, singing some of their well-known songs from “back in the day” . The program ended with attendees dancing to the music of The Jimmy Church Band and singers Sugar and Spice.