Our Town Norfolk: Jim Casey

It's a household name in Norfolk that has been makin' music for a long time. Jim Casey's been a musical mainstay in Northeast Nebraska for more than 50 years.

He sat around the piano as a child while his mom tickled the ivories.
And he's loved music ever since. Jim says, "I was born in raised in Norfolk, Nebraska. We always had a music scene here even though we didn't know it was called a scene."

At the center of the scene was King's Ballroom. A popular stop for many touring bands, "Growin' up, when I saw people had their picture on the wall at King's Ballroom I thought, 'Man, I could make a living at this, this is something I think I'd like.'"

Jim was in 6th grade when he joined a group that specialized in barbershop harmonies. He was hooked. As a result, Bob Hupp and I kept playing together after that and we formed a group called, 'The Smoke Ring.'"

Eight guys from Norfolk were about to make it big, "Finally we recorded a song that was an old 50's song, early 50's by The Four Lads called, 'I Don't Want Your Arms Around Me, No Not Much."

The year was 1968, "And we got on a label called Buddah Records, which happened to be the hottest pop label in the world then."

The next thing he knew, Jim was in California and Dick Clark was introducing his band on national television, "When we met Dick Clark we knew it was a big deal."

Eventually, the smoke ring faded away, "Which took me out of Norfolk to Memphis, Tennessee and then to Nashville where I worked as a paid songwriter."

A number of Jim's songs have been recorded by country music legends, "Waylon Jennings, Charley Pride, The Oak Ridge Boys."

Today, Jim is making music with his son Matt in Norfolk, "Well for me, getting to share the stage with my Dad is the ultimate thrill. It's the best of both worlds, you get family and something that you love to do at the same time that's a bonus. It's a great feeling."

If you'd like to see Jim and Matt perform live on stage you can catch them every Wednesday Night at the Sandbar at Divots Convention Center in Norfolk.


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