Jimmy Angel

Georges HassamOccupation:
Rock ' Roll singer
Time in Japan:
9 years

I'm a '50s guy. My first hit was in '57. I started singing after I lost the ability to play baseball. I played professionally for the New York Yankees for almost five years, and apart from baseball, singing was the only thing I could do.

The fifties were the best --Elvis (whom I went to high school with), Marilyn, Jimmy Dean... When The Beatles came, everything changed. Everywhere I went in the States, people told me the same thing --the '50s are dead! I told them the '50s were NOT dead, that somewhere in the world, the '50s still lived. My producer Pat Boone, himself an oldies' legend, who is from Tennessee like me, brought me into his office one day and said to me, "Jimmy, we're going to take you back to where you belong. To the place where the '50s still live." I said, "Where is that, sir?" And he said, "Japan."

I was concerned that I didn't know any Japanese, but it wasn't an issue for him. He just told me to "do what I do" --the only thing I know how to do: sing. He said the Japanese are very smart people, and although they may not know English, they do know the real thing when they hear it. So that's how I first came to Japan, in '88, with the intention of staying for two weeks. I ended up staying a year and a half that time, and soon came back for good. I was performing four nights a week, and it wasn't long before Polydor signed me up. I've sung at Tokyo Dome and too many other joints to mention.

I think Japan is the greatest place on earth. America right now is very crazy --too many guns and too many drugs. In Japan, it's all about teamwork, which I really like and respect. I also think Japanese girls are ichiban (number one)! In fact, I just finished writing a song called "Japanese Girls Are Ichiban"! They're so cute and bouncy, and I love the way they talk, walk and dress. They dress the way girls should dress. I love to watch them bouncing about from the window of Johnny Rockets, my favorite hangout in Tokyo. (They only play oldies' music --no Aerosmith, no rap...none of that stuff!) At the age of 62, seeing girls like that keeps you young.

I plan to stay in Japan forever. It isn't easy being a '50s singer in the States, where I've got hip-hoppers on the left, rappers on the right, Madonnas, heavy metal guys, and Michael Jacksons everywhere. I have to stay where I belong, and because of my commitment to the '50s, that's Japan. To me, Japan is a paradise. It gave me back my life, and I'll never leave it.

Jimmy sings regularly at Red Shoes (043-224-6458) and Dunhill (043-226-8448) in Chiba.

Jimmy spoke to Chang-Ran Kim tchan and Maki Nibayashi tchan

Do you know an interesting person in Tokyo? E-mail us at

199: Diane Morris
Media & Advertising
198: Ross Mihara
NHK Sumo Announcer
196: Corky Alexander
Tokyo Weekender
195: Edward Obaidey
194: Merry Angel
Managing Director
193: Alison Pockett
Managing Partner
192: Zack Konno
Car Export Representive
191: Pamela S. Caudill
Assistant U.S. Customs
190: Caroline Power
Being a Broad
189: Geoffrey Tudor
P.R. Section Chief JAL
188: Ryuko Ishikawa M.D.
Family Psychiatrist
187: Georges Hassam
Arabic Dance Instructor
186: Larry London
DJ at InterFM
185: Richard James
Photographer & Writer
184: Alan Kidd
Rock Musician & Editor
183: Adam Hitchens
Mobile Hairdresser/Masseur
182: Lylian de la Vega
181: Annie Chang
Computer Training
180: Mike Jacobs
179: Jimmy Angel
Rock'n'Roll Singer
178: Dante
177: Elizabeth Spencer
Tokyo Classified Intern
175: Paul E. Ainlay
Proprietor of D.B. Cooper's
174: Steve Bindon
173: Nanae Nagata & Naji Rahman
Proprietors of Heart Cocktail
172: Tom Holiday
171: Gordon Hutchingson
170: Barry Cardinal
Renshi Aikido Instructor
169: Tammy
168: Steve Feldman
Computer Dealer
167: Eve Suter
Flower Designer
166: Paul Goldsmith
Computer/H.R. Consultant
165: Avry Gottesman
Auto Dealer
164: Russell Pollard
Financial Advisor
163: Sa'dia
Belly Dancer
162: Marcel L'Esperance
Choral Director
161: Gregg Alan
Used Motorcycle/Car Dealer
160: Dr. Greg Sapplers OMD
Oriental Medical Doctor
159: Ute Ikuta
Cat Lover
158: Pam Adkins
Shaw College
157: Cloudy Bong Water
156: Melissa
Internet Company Director
155: Paul Gibson
Proprietor, The Fiddler Pub
154: Ann Spiers
153: Evans M. Asare
152: Sandy Weiss
Acting Teacher
150: Kike

Issues 300-360

Issues 250-299
Issues 200-249
Issues 138-149