While still in junior high school during the late 1940s, Jim Aldridge began entertaining audiences as a big band orchestra leader. Throughout high school he played the popular music, big band, swing, doo-wop, and rock and roll, that he heard on the radio. After high school he moved to Hollywood, California, where he worked as a session musician, often recording with Glen Campbell.
Aldridge moved back to North Little Rock, Arkansas, in August of 1961. Within days he met Sonny Burgess and The Pacers while playing in a local bar and joined the band as their saxophone player. Aldridge left The Pacers in 1966 and played shows as a bandleader on the convention circuit for many years. He later rejoined Sonny Burgess and The Pacers and is now the saxophonist for The Legendary Pacers. This self-described “cross between an Elvis Presley and a Tom Jones” is still entertaining audiences today.
Still frame from Pryor Center video interview with Jim Aldridge at Bubba's Blues Corner; Helena, Arkansas, 2017
© Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History, University of Arkansas