Jim Harper, Guitarist

Jim Harper was born November 1, 1947 in Rock Falls, Illinois. The son of a factory worker in  a steel mill neighborhood, his interests were centered around sports, music, church, and school activities. Getting the chance to be in two musicals and five plays and representing his high school  as the first tenor in the I.S.H.A. State finals four years in a row, reinforcing  his interest in drama and music.

While attending Ferris State College in Big Rapids, Michigan Harper was featured as a soloist playing for college groups with the Ferris State College men's glee club and the college chorale.

After graduation in 1970, Harper took a job as a computer programmer for state farm insurance company in Bloomington Illinois. While working days as a programmer his evenings were spent singing  and playing guitar in a small coffee house just off the campus of Illinois state university. He soon found success in clubs and lounges in and around the Bloomington/Peoria area.

In the spring of 1972 his friend and fellow Peorian, Steve Gibson, convinced him to move to Nashville and learn what he could about song writing.  Introducing him to such songwriters as Dave Loggins, Larry John Wilson, Troy Seals, Mentor Williams, Alex Harvey, and Marshall Chapman. Realizing song writing was a craft and that he could learn to write  and continue to entertain, Harper began to tour as a single entertainer, working small venues for large restaurant chains such as  the Continental Restaurant Systems, Stuart Anderson's Black Angus, Irelands, Holiday Inn, Ramada, etc.

In 1973, while traveling thirty to forty thousand miles a year, he still found time to produce his first album”waiting here til’ morning” at Golden Voice Recording Studio in Pekin, Illinois (where Dan Fogelberg recorded his Captured Angel album), an experience which helped not only his writing but earned him valuable experience working in one of the largest studios of its time.

In 1975 Harper returned to the Peoria area where he partnered several different night clubs. During this time he had the opportunity to do a great deal of civic entertaining for the city of Peoria itself.  Several local cable television specials, dozens of civic and political benefits, and outdoor concerts, warming up such stars as Ricky Nelson, Livingston Taylor, and Black Oak Arkansas, and Linda Rondstat.

Returning to Nashville in 1980, Harper did WSM’s “Morning” and “Noon” shows, WSM”s landmark “Waking Crew”, the Nasville networks “American Magazine” show featured as a writer, and found success singing in many of the lounges and hotels in Nashville (Opryland and Maxwell House hotels). Throughout the middle eighties Harper continued to entertain at night and write and produce his own style  of music.

The ninties brought more travel and opportunity to sing and entertain on the large gambling boats up and down the Mississippi also getting the opportunity to warm up top name country acts at the Capital Theatre in Davenport  Iowa.  Moving to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina in 1993 and began entertaining in the many hotels and restaurants on and near the beach during the summer season and playing in artist / writer venues up and down the east coast during the off season.

Download Name Play Size Length
download Better Off Alone

4.6 MB 5:00 min
download Colorado Blues

4.6 MB 5:00 min
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Jim Harper Song List

Songs From Three Decades Of Country Pop Old Rock And Roll, And Seventies Singer Songwriters:

Country Artists    

Hank Williams
Jim Reeves
Johnny Cash
Everly Brothers
Eddie Arnold
Elvis Pressley
Glen Campbell,
Willie Nelson
Waylon Jennings
Kris Kristoferson
Ray Charles,
David Allen Coe
Merle Haggard
Buck Owens
George Jones
Roger Miller,
Emmylou Harris
Dolly Parton
Linda Rondstant
Kenny Rodgers,
Hank Williams Jr
Randy Travis
George Strait
Rodney Crowell,
Garth Brooks
Alan Jackson
Vince Gill
Lyle Lovett
Kenny Chesney
Earl Thomas Conley
Tim Mcgraw
Hal Ketchum
Toby Kieth
Clint Black,
Sawyer Brown
Travis Tritt
Rascal Flats
Darius Rucker
Ricky Skaggs
Uncle Cracker
.....And Many More
Seventies Singer Songwriters

James Taylor
Bob Dylan
Carole King
Paul Simon
Gordon Lightfoot,
John Lennon
Niel Young
Joni Mitchell
Van Morrison
Jim Croce
Elton John,
Eric Clapton
John Denver
John Prine
Harry Chapin
Bob Seger
Jackson Brown,
Paul Mc Cartney
Bruce Springsteen
Mac Mc Anally
Don Mc Clean
Greg Allman,
Billy Joel
Steven Stills
Crosby/ Stills/ & Nash
Steve Earl
Jonathan Edwards,
Micheal Martin Murphy
Dan Fogelberg
John Fogerty
Marvin Gaye
Steve Goodman,
Tim Hardin
Mickey Newbury
Randy Newman
Guy Clark
Jerry Jeff Walker,
Tom Paxton
Neal Diamond
Bill Withers
Warren Zevon.......And Many More

Old Rock & Roll And Country Rock

Johnny Rivers
Chuck Berry
Carl Perkins
The Allman Bros
The Band,
Charlie Daniels
The Byrds
Rolling Stones,
Grateful Dead
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Marshall Tucker
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band,
Pure Prarie League........And Many More