Manager/Guest Vocalist/Live Sound Engineer
Jimy Sohns joined the Shadows of Knight at the age of 16 in 1964, and within a few short years, was catapulted to stardom when his recording of “Gloria” became an international hit. The record stayed at #7 in the Billboard charts for 5 straight weeks in the spring of 1966, going on to sell 4.5 million copies worldwide. Sohns (with the Shadows of Knight) racked up a total of 6 top 100 singles, with 3 of those reaching the top 30, including “Shake,” which sold 950 thousand copies, and “Oh Yeah” which sold 900 thousand copies.
Sohns and his group performed on 53 major television shows, including American Bandstand, The Ed Sullivan Show, Where The Action Is and Top Of The Pops in England. In 1966, The Shadows of Knight were certainly riding high when they toured America with the Rolling Stones.
But in the following years, Sohns experienced the dramatic ups and a down of a life in rock ‘n’ roll, and by the spring of 1978, was on hiatus as a performer. It was at that time that Sohns took the position of being Skafish’s road manager. He had been introduced to Skafish by manager Scott Cameron, who managed both artists at the time. Jimy wasn’t sure what he had on his hands, but in his own words, realized early on that Skafish was “a bona fide genius.”
Sohns, physically protective of Skafish, often subdued violent crowds, putting himself in harm’s way countless times. It was Sohns that punched Sid Vicious at Hurrah in New York, throwing him down a flight of stairs. ( For more info on this story, check Skafish Website Time Line 1978)
Jimy brought great business experience and street smarts to the table, helping Skafish to avoid pitfalls whenever possible. More than once, Sohns forced shady club owners and concert promoters to pay up after performances. As road manager, whatever problems arose, Sohns always managed to magically fix them.
For Skafish, it was always a treat to play lead guitar and sing back-up for Sohns when he would sing “Gloria” with the Skafish band for encores from 1978 through 1980.
After 1980, Sohns life took a difficult turn when he was convicted on felony drug charges. Serving 3 years from 1983-1986, he formed a prison band called Jimy Sohns and the Cons and while incarcerated, Jimy and his group won top prize at the Mississippi River Blues Festival two years in a row.
After being released from prison, Sohns returned to doing what he does best - singing rock ‘ n’ roll. Currently based in Naples, Florida, Sohns is touring with the Shadows of Knight, playing concerts with other legendary 60’s artists and singing more powerfully than ever. A CD of new, original music is in the works, featuring a punk version of “Hello Dolly.”
All photographs copyright by the respective photographers