The Early Years
For the first time Jimmy Curtiss appears as a member of a doo wop outfit The Emjays, who released a couple of 7" 45s singles around 1959/60. In the following year J.C.'s first solo single appeared on United Artists. Teen pop you'd call this innocent, clear, very melody oriented phase in US mainstream pop. Bobby Vee, Bobby Darin, Dion & The Belmonts were its main exponents.
His voice is already unmistakeable.
Already then he wrote or co-wrote most of his material. "Five Smooth Stones" for example is a nice and highly original version of the Bible's tale of David and Goliath. According to Vernon Johnson (in "Fuzz, Acid & Flowers") he was a "phenomenal songwriter ... throughout", who even sold songs to Bobby Darin and Ellie Greenwich.
In the first half of the Sixties J.C. worked in the advertising field but also continued writing songs in his spare time. In 1967 he turned into a fulltime singer and musician.
Since 1965 he collaborated with Ernie Maresca and Laurie Records in New York. Three Jimmy Curtiss singles appeared on the Laurie label. The "most famous" being, of course, "Psychedelic Situation".
This was the only release Laurie managed to licence to Ariola in Germany, to great effect as we know today. Otherwise there wouldn't be this feature. "You're What's Happening Baby" (1965) and "The Girl From The Land Of 1000 Dances"/bw "Let's Dance Close" (with The Regents) (1965) were the other two 7" 45s on Laurie. Fans of doo wop and teen pop in The US and UK are usually quite fond of this song with The Regents plus the early singles by Jimmy C., while psych pop and bubblegum aficionados prefer Jimmy's music from 1967 onwards.
The Emjays Featuring Jimmy And Judy
A: This Is My Love
B: Waitin´ (The Pitty Pitty Pat Song)
A: Cross My Heart (Hope To Die)
B: All My Love, All My Life
A: Over The Rainbow
B: Cookie Jar