Jumpin’ Jimmy Thunder has been delighting (or frightening, depending on your point of view) punters in Weymouth and Portland for well over fifty years.

And next Friday, March 1, there’s a chance to celebrate this legendary force of nature when he marks his 76th birthday with a gig at Wyke Regis Working Mens Club in Weymouth.

The veteran rock’n’roll entertainer was first let loose on an unsuspecting audience back in 1964 at venues such as the Rock and the Waverley pubs on Weymouth’s Abbotsbury Road, shortly after moving to the town from Sussex with his parents when they bought a guesthouse in Franklin Road.

Over the years, Jimmy has sung with some very big names, including Screaming Lord Sutch, Carl Perkins, Crazy Kavan and the Rhythm Rockers, Shaking Stevens and, remarkably, a couple of numbers with a young Tom Jones at the Prince Regent in Weymouth back in the mid-1960s “I was wearing my teddy boy drapes at the bar and Tom asked me if I fancied a pint,” Jimmy tells me.

“We got on very well and he asked me up on stage to sing with him,” he adds.

Jimmy’s showbusiness career really took off after that while the young Welshman was promptly never heard of again.

Of his early days in Weymouth, Jimmy recalls: “People didn’t really know me but they were a friendly bunch and stuck with me.” And that’s still the case to this day.

Jimmy’s golden era would surely have to been his residency at the long-gone Golden Eagle pub in the Seventies and Eighties where scores of punters would pack the place to witness his outrageous performance.

T-shirts and car stickers proclaiming ‘I saw Jumpin’ Jimmy Live, and I Did Survive’ could be spotted across the world, no doubt in part down to the number of visiting matelots who would flock to see the man whenever their ship was docked at Portland, back in the day when it was major Navy base.

Jimmy still has a huge cult following of ex-shipmates websites across the globe.

Elvis Presley was the spark which lit Jimmy’s rock’n’roll fuse back in the Fifties.

“I was singing in the church choir when I heard Elvis on the radio and I thought: This is what I want to do.”

Jimmy was actually watching a DVD of Jailhouse Rock when I visited him this week at his Weymouth home and was drinking tea from his Elvis mug and dressed in his gold lame suit as we chatted, the outfit he told me he’d be wearing for next Friday’s show at Wyke Workies where he’ll be backed by The Silhouettes.

“I was singing at the old New Bridge pub in Weymouth the night Elvis died (Carnival day, August 16, 1977),” Jimmy recalls. “When I heard the news I cried my heart out.”

His visit to Gracelands back in 2002 is an undoubted highlight of Jimmy’s life “He had some amazing outfits there, some of which he’d never worn, plus and incredible amount of gold discs on every wall,” Jimmy sighs, enviously.

Poor health over recent years means Jimmy has been restricted to just one or two gigs a year, each one still a huge occasion and always to raise money for a local charity.

But the gig next Friday is just a big birthday party in Jimmy’s honour.

“I’ve worked very hard for this, so I reckon I deserve it,” he says.

“I’d like to thank my support worker Lina Vincent and Mick Neville at the Workies for making this happen plus Barrie Wilson and the boys in The Silhouettes who will be backing me.”

Many people believe that Jimmy has improved over the years, saying he’s managing to hit more of the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order.

It may well be true that you don’t stop gigging because you get old, you get old because you stop gigging, but how long does Jimmy think he can keep going? “As long as people want me,” he says. So that’ll be for quite a while longer yet I imagine.

Till next time…


Creedence Clearwater Reimagined (Weymouth Pavilion)

Balance of Power (Finn’s, Weymouth)

Carley Varley (Gloucester, Weymouth)

Retro (Weymouth Working Mens Club)

Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Matt Black (Wyke Smugglers, Weymouth)

Cherry Pickers (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Shelby’s Elbows (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Billy Solo (Wellington, Weymouth)

The Truth Seekers (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

George Stevenson (Duke of Albany, Weymouth)

Rob Davis (Brewhouse and Kitchen, Dorchester)

Georgie Broad (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)

Leanne Jackson (Black Dog, Weymouth)


James Taylor Quartet (Weymouth Pavilion)

Totally Blondie (Weymouth Pavilion)

Jolly Boys Outing (Finn’s, Weymouth)

Glass Spiders (Sailors Return, Weymouth)

Identikit (Gloucester, Weymouth)

Haywire (Wyke Regis Working Mens Club, Weymouth)

Nina Garcia (Drax Arms, Bere Regis)

Alexis (Little Ship, Portland)

Silhouettes (Weymouth Working Mens Club)

Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Tripod (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Steve Nicholas (Conservative Club, Weymouth)

Arcadia Roots (Ropemakers, Bridport)

V8 Hearts (Hardy’s Tavern, Dorchester)

Em’n’Im (1652, St Alban St, Weymouth)

Haze (Duke of Albany, Weymouth)

Strings and Reeds (Park, Weymouth)

Between Bars (Star, Portland)

Vanilla Radio (Black Dog, Weymouth)

Rock Apes (George, Portland)

Leanne Jackson (Three Compasses, Charminster) 2.30pm.


Replay (Wyke Smugglers, Weymouth) 2pm.

Rockin’ Rich (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth) 4.30pm, followed by…

Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth) 8.30pm.

Replay (Wyke Smugglers, Weymouth) 2-5pm.

Chris Webb (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Elmore Goes Electric (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

Ricky Solo (Sailor’s Return, Weymouth)  From 3pm.

Diane’s Open Mic (Duke of Albany, Weymouth)

Owen Lister (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)

Farrago (RAFA Club, Weymouth) 4-6pm.

Stacey Lou (Black Dog, Weymouth)


Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Acoustic session (Belvedere, Weymouth)


Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)


Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Wessex Folk Night (Sailors Return,  Weymouth)

Open Mic Night (Rock, Weymouth)


Coldplace: Coldplay tribute (Weymouth Pavilion)

Open Mic Night (Ship, Wool)

Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Traditional Tune Session (Cove House Inn, ChiswelI, Portland

Ukulele Sessions (Sailors Return,  Weymouth)


TBA (Finns, Weymouth)

Lewis Craven Band (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

Billy Solo (Wellington, Weymouth)

Open Mic Showcase (Gloucester, Weymouth)

4 Go Mad (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

George Hall Trio (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Jumping Jimmy Thunder and The Silhouettes (Wyke Regis Working Mens Club, Weymouth)

Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)