Often called “the greatest tenor voice in Country Music”, Jimmy Fortune sang for the Statler Brothers for 21 years. He joined them as a temporary singer after Lew DeWitt heard him singing at a ski resort and recommended Jimmy as his replacement. Following an audition in Nashville, Jimmy was contacted by the Statler Brothers and performed with them in his first show on January 28, 1982 in Savanna, Georgia. Due to the debilitating effects of Crohn’s Disease, Lew was unable to return to the stage with the Statlers and Jimmy was hired as a permanent replacement in August of 1982.
With this new avenue of musical expression, Jimmy began writing songs and several were recorded with the Statler Brothers. The songs he wrote were all successful on the Country Music charts. These included: “Elizabeth”, “Too Much on my Heart”, “My Only Love”, “More Than a Name on a Wall”.
In addition to many songs placing high on the charts, the Statler Brothers won numerous awards while Jimmy performed with them (refer to awards page for Jimmy’s personal awards). Jimmy has performed in all of the U.S. States, in Canadian Providences, and in front of audiences as large as 100,000. An annual “hometown” celebration in Staunton, Virginia drew large crowds of fans and Jimmy was part of this event for fourteen years. He also sang on many of the Statler’s gold, platinum, and double platinum recordings. Jimmy’s musical career included The Nashville Network’s show, “The Statler Brothers Show” which aired for seven seasons and debuted in 1991 as the highest rated show for The Nashville Network.
Jimmy was privileged to perform at the White House on two occasions, once for President Ronald Reagan, and once for President George Bush. He also presented a special gift to actress Elizabeth Taylor by singing his song “Elizabeth” to her for a birthday celebration.
Jimmy spent twenty-one years touring, singing, and performing with the Statler Brothers. The other three members of the group retired on October 26, 2002. Jimmy has seized this opportunity to launch a solo career as he still has many new songs to sing and lots of energy left for his fans. He has been touring with his band in many U.S. states. Jimmy and the Statler Brothers were inducted into the GMA (Gospel Music Association) Hall of Fame on October 29, 2007. Jimmy’s first solo CD entitled “When One Door Closes” was released August 2003. His second project, “I Believe”, is a gospel CD released in June of 2005 and the third, “Feels Like Christmas” was released December of 2006. Jimmy is currently living in Nashville and writing songs for his next project.