JAMES ANTHONY'S BIOGRAPHY:

They say, a man is shaped by the life he has lived and the role models that offer inspiration to his life.  James has stated that his family (especially his father) provided the foundation to which has given him life's rules to live by.  These life lessons taught by James' father, shaped his life and unknowingly this man’s voice.   As James sings, you can feel him as if he is recalling moments of time and touching upon love that has been lost and the heartache that followed.  You can feel the joys of being a survivor and being alive in his voice, to bring your emotions to the surface as James sings to bring you a smile. 

These next few paragraphs are a brief description of James' family background and achievements that offered influence and inspiration. 

James Anthony was born in Miami, FL as James Anthony Dempsey in 1959 and lived there until he was 5 years old.  His father and uncles worked the construction industry while in Miami and then they moved back to Queens, NY (Astoria) where he lived until 1968 (James was 8 years old).  James' Grandfather Dempsey was veteran and was the Treasurer of the Bricklayers Union during the 60s & 70s.  In 1968, James'  Father and Mother, Uncle Dale, his wife and cousins shifted from New York to the desert of Las Vegas, Nevada where James started music classes that year.  James father, uncle and aunt entered the gaming industry and worked with certain individuals that showed them the ropes.  They worked as and with casino bosses befriending many influential people within the old regime of Vegas.  James'  Uncle Dale Dempsey conceived, manufactured and placed 21 and Craps video training video machines in many of the casinos during the 70s called M&D Video Systems Corporation of Las Vegas (newspaper article). 

James' Uncle Dale, also a veteran, opened and owned Las Vegas Travel during the mid 80s.  James' father Jack (pictured below with James' mother Mary to his right in blue at the Cal-Neva Lodge), helped develop his brother Dale's company and changed the way tourism was handled in Las Vegas during the 70s, 80s and early 90s. Working together, they provided people for the hotel/casino industry to fill the rooms, restaurants and gamble.  One by one, the hotels/casinos came on board with our family's way of bringing in gamblers from around the USA and thus the Gambling Junkets were born.

Some of the hotels included the Flamingo (my uncle Dale Dempsey created the Flamingo Fling and is still a vacation package today).  Las Vegas Travel also provided for the Stardust, CalNeva Lodge in Lake Tahoe, the Hilton Hotel, the Sands and many others.   In fact, James was given a Cal-Neva Gold Card when he was 19 years old and anything with a signature.  They even set James up in Frank Sinatra's room when James would visit. (as long as Frank wasn't staying there at the time).  The flight into the Lake Tahoe Airport was like riding over the top of a roller coaster when it crested the mountains.

The aforementioned offered influence and says that you can achieve anything if you have the will and the desire.

Circa 1979 - Cal-Neva Lodge, Lake Tahoe

 

1973: James entered high school and was swooped up by the choir teacher, Mr. Clark Black, as a baritone/bass singer within the varsity & male choirs throughout his four years at Chaparral High School in Las Vegas.  This gave James the education of harmony and the love of singing, and he was hooked.  In the mid ‘70s, James was a bit of a scrapper and didn't like bullies pickin' on the underdog and at 6' 2" tall and 220 lbs, he understood what it took to survive in a tough gambling town at a young age.  James' Irish/Italian family and relatives enjoyed the groove of Vegas' action and surrounded him with constant big band sounds of Sinatra, Elvis, Dino, Tom Jones, Bobby Darin, Doris Day and so on, thus exposing James to some of the best music ever written and all of this right at his front door.  This cat's got it in his blood and man does he deliver! 

 

 

 

 

1978: James joined the US Navy where he proudly and honorably served our country for 4 1/2 years with A-7 Squadron VA-122 based in Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, CA., VA-122 Det. Fallon, NV and throughout the U.S. and Aircraft Carriers for training.  He was Honorably discharged in 1982 and then completed 2 years reserves. 

 

 

 

 

 

1982-1984:  James returned to Las Vegas where he auditioned and was accepted as the last drummer for the established band called Roadhouse to which they opened concerts and performed to support their albums.  Roadhouse principals retired in 1984 and was later inducted into the LV Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013












 

 

 

 

 

 

1984-1989: James relocated to Los Angeles to begin a tough music career and although there were many ups and downs at first, James begin a successful music career as a session drummer/percussionist and backup singer.  James also continued to perform in various show rooms in Las Vegas throughout his career and his credits include working with various record labels including RCA Records, booking agencies including the national GMA Agency as a national touring artist and voice over talent.  (pictured right on tour circa 1985)

1991: James finally hung up his sticks and eventually purchased a Florida based corporation where he and his wife would have and raise a family.  August of 2004, James was in the wrong place and an electrical accident presented James with partial paralysis on his left side which partially affected his speech due to tongue weakness due to an electrocution causing a temporary neurological disruption from the brain.  In 2005 after months of physical rehab and speech therapy, James regained 100% mobility and speech.  James sold his corporation that year and would travel as a business consultant/trainer throughout the United States.

2011: James decided to return to music to perform the music he missed and loved and that was the jazz standards.  As a business man, James researched the industry for a year for educational purposes so as to understand the industry's changes after a 20 year break.  Time had taken its toll on James' chops for the drums but he still had his voice.  James didn't know it but, people would turn their heads when he sang however, he never considered himself a real vocalist.  For fun, James decided to record 8 songs as a last testament to his life in music, marked it with a black marker and shared with his family and friends.  This was the moment things changed.  His father Jack, was very happy and proud of this because some of the material were Sinatra arrangements from arranger Nelson Riddle.  Father and son worked and shared thoughts and song choices and bonded like never before as father and son.

2012:  Although James is not an impersonator, his family upbringing and life events unknowingly gave this blue eyed Saggitarian a few similar traits as Frank through his father.  With encouragement from his father, family and friends, James entered a Sinatra Idol contest in Frank Sinatra's hometown of Hoboken NJ.  Not only did James win, he received the only perfect score from all 5 judges which presented him with prizes, performance agreement and to return to the studio after 20 years which ultimately bringing James back to the stage.  After 2 years of performing as a vocalist in small clubs and corporate events, James felt the need to further develop his voice and decided to take off for over a year for professional vocal training Dec 2014.

2015 and 2016: Sadly, James' father passed January 12th, 2015.   In honor of his father, James made the decision to continue his trek and began working with Opera and Vocal Coaches over the the next 2 years so as to strengthen his vocal ability, breath control and expand his range to gain proper vocal technique.  After nearly a year of rigorous and disciplined vocal exercises, James received a call from the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and offered a contract to perform for our U.S. Congress August 2015 with his swing big band on Capitol Hill to provide Las Vegas style entertainment and sing the songs of Frank Sinatra.  He agrees and is a smash hit on the Hill.   In June of the following year (2016), James was requested to perform on Capitol Hill again, only this time by the Senate Members who heard James the year before, James accepted.   In honor of his father, James performs known and unique not well known song arrangements of Frank Sinatra, R&B and Jazz Blues songs from the Great American Songbook.  James' father would have been proud.

James has been offered a new original song melody and lyrics from retired Capitol Records writer Terry Graves and his son Warner Bros writer/artist Mike Graves.  Now James needed it arranged for instrumentation and with the help of friend Johnny Colianni (pianist to the late Mel Torme' and Les Paul), they came to an agreement over the phone and the pair met together in New York City to discuss the details.  Johnny and James worked together (mostly Johnny) and the result was a fabulous dynamic 22-26 piece mini orchestra arrangement.   This new original arrangement is now complete and ready to enter the recording studio. 

2017: After nearly two years of Opera vocal strengthening exercises, James performed in Las Vegas at the Golden Nugget in the showroom in February on the same stage that Frank Sinatra performed on and was well received by the ticket holders and other vocalists alike. April, James Anthony is contacted and offered an international recording/promotions/distributions contract by Sony/USA Network/Global Distribution.

James Anthony is one of the last real Torch Singers to perform the classic Broadway songs, the beautiful ballads and saloon style torch songs in a way that moves you, especially with that warm baritone voice.  

James resides in Washington DC area and continues to work with nationally with the finest musicians and performers across the USA.

 

    Feb 2017 James Anthony, Wayne Newton and Andrea Tyler

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