Jimi Jamison (August 23, 1951 – August 31, 2014)
Jimmy Wayne Jamison was
born in rural Mississippi, though Jamison considered himself a native of Memphis. He and his mother moved there the day after he was born. He taught himself to play guitar and piano and was in his first band in middle school.
In the late 1970s he was frontman for a local Memphis band named Target. In the early 80s he was lead singer of the band Cobra. When Cobra disbanded in 1984, Jamison was invited to join Survivor. (They were looking for a way to kickstart some follow-up success after Eye of the Tiger).
His first album with Survivor was Vital Signs. This was Survivor’s second most successful American album and instantly catapulted Survivor back into superstardom. Their final 80s album was Too Hot to Sleep. This album suffered a lack of promotion by Volcano, their record company and led Survivor to take a break.
Jamison went on to a solo career that saw him co-write and perform the theme song to the hit 90s TV show Baywatch, release a couple of albums and take a temporary stint as lead vocal replacement frontman for Deep Purple. In 2000, he returned to Survivor for their 2006 album Reach. He left the band soon after. He released a few more solo albums before returning to Survivor in 2011. Jamison’s final solo album, Never Too Late, was released in 2012.
Jamison continued to tour with Survivor. His final performance was August 30, 2014 in Morgan Hill, California the day before he died. Jamison died of a heart attack in Memphis, Tennessee at age 63.