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The Sounds of Our Time

The Sounds of Our Time (2007)



Jim Ford (August 23, 1941 – November 18, 2007) was an American singer-songwriter originally from Johnson County, Kentucky. After living in New Orleans, Ford moved to Los Angeles, and finally settled in Fort Bragg, California. His music is a mixture of soul, country and folk. His songs and songs he co-wrote have been recorded by numerous artists, including Aretha Franklin, P.J. Proby, Bobby Womack, and the Temptations. The UK singer Sylvia McNeill recorded "Ugly Man" in 1970, the only known version, as Ford’s could not be found in his archives. Nick Lowe has cited Jim Ford as his biggest musical influence, and Sly Stone once called him "the baddest white man on the planet."

His most famous song is probably "Harry Hippie", a song recorded and released by Womack in 1973.

After beating a cocaine addiction in 2004, Ford found Jesus and started recording again. He was a recluse at that time, but L-P Anderson of Sweden’s Sonic Magazine managed to track him down in his California trailer home in April 2006.Bear Family Records re-released his album Harlan County, originally recorded in 1969, with 15 previously unreleased songs and a 40-page booklet as The Sounds of Our Time in early 2007. The success of The Sounds of Our Time made the idea of recording new material possible. At times there was talk of using Jim Dickinson as producer, and James Burton volunteered to play guitar. A charity gig for Jim was to take place in London, U.K., on May 18, 2008. Nick Lowe was scheduled to perform together with Ford. However, Ford was found dead early in the evening of Sunday, November 18, 2007, in his trailer home, by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s department.

A few months after his death, Bear Family released a compilation of previously unavailable Ford recordings, Point of No Return.