It was Fall of 2003, I think, when I had my first encounter with Trop Rock music and had no idea that was what the genre was called. We were in Las Vegas for the Buffett concert and attended a local party at Tommy Rocker’s hosted by the Las Vegas Parrothead Club. I met a bunch of great folks and heard a performer with a name I quickly associated with a tropical scene: Sunny Jim White.
Sunny Jim, or James White is actually a Texas native. He loves to reveal that he was born over a bar in San Antonio (current location of Dick’s Last Resort) and he also lived in Corpus Christi, Texas for a while. It was there that he developed his love for the beach and water. His dad, “Shady Jim” (just love that!) was a musician, so music was always in the environment. Sunny Jim began playing the guitar at age 12 and has been making a living playing music for over 30 years now.
After a stint in Nashville, Sunny Jim went to Grand Cayman Island as the “house band” at the Hyatt Regency there. Did you see the movie “The Firm?” James wrote and performed a song for the film. After twelve years in paradise, he moved back to the United States and eventually settled in Sarasota, Florida.
Sunny Jim has what he calls a “Caribbean outlook on life,” and defines Trop Rock music as tunes and lyrics with a laid-back attitude. To him, it’s coastal and water related, but is even more about enjoying life at a slower pace. Apparently, his formula works with nine CDs available and having recorded over 100 original songs.
My experience is that he always has time for his fans. If you come across a Sunny Jim sighting, you’re sure to spot his warm smile and enjoy his brand of Trop Rock music. The world is bright when Sunny Jim is around!