James Bentley

I was born January 28,1959 in Baldwin Hills, California. I grew up in Moorpark, CA in Ventura County. I started playing saxophone in seventh grade when I was told that no other instruments were available. I wanted to play drums, but there were no spots left. Funny the way things turn out. I graduated from Moorpark High School in 1977. I received a scholarship from The Jarmen Fine Arts Association in Moorpark to help with expenses at MC. I can never thank them enough for their help. I attended MC where I had the opportunity to tour Europe and participate in the Montreux, Switzerland Jazz Festival in 1978. I had the chance to be a featured soloist at the Berkeley Jazz Festival in 1979 and was awarded the instrumentalist of the year at Moorpark College. It was at MC that I concentrated on piano, theory and voice.

I was able to back Joey Scarborough in 1979. Joey sang the theme song “Believe It Or Not” for the hit television show “Greatest American Hero.” I think this was when I first realized how much I enjoyed backing other artists.

I received a full ride scholarship to California State University Northridge in 1979, but I decided to see the world and try to make a go of it in music. That was over twenty years ago, and I’m still traveling and having fun.

I married the girl of my dreams eight years ago. Sarah and I have two daughters. Whisper, who is seven, and Willow who is four. And, as of this writing, we are expecting a son in September 2002.

I’ve had the chance to play with Don Julian and the Larks, J.J. Jackson, Al Wilson, Tony Allen, Jewel Akins, Brenton Wood, The Coasters, The Drifters , Vernon Green And The Medallions, The Olympics, The Penguins, Johnny Lee, Roy Rodgers and Dale Evans, Donny Brooks, Glen Glenn, Barbara Lynn, and many others. And of course, with Rosie and the Originals.

My first meeting with Rosie was about ten years ago at a place called Johnny’s Broiler in Downey, CA. I was in a group that was hired to back her up named “Klaro.” We ended up backing her on many occasions after that, mostly at car shows in the Los Angeles area. About six months after backing Rosie for the first time, her group had a two-week stay in Laughlin Nevada at The Avi Hotel And Casino. The bandleader at the time, Larry Tarin called me to work on that show. I had so much fun on that gig that I decided to stay n as long as Rosie would have me. Larry left the band a short time later and I took over the band leaders position. It’s hard to believe it was ten years ago.

It’s been fun working with Rosie over the years. She has a big heart and a genuine caring nature in regards to the band. I’ve had the opportunity to co write with Rosie on a number of songs. In working with her I’ve discovered first hand how she was able to pen such a smash hit like Angel Baby.

I look forward to many more years of touring and recording with Charlie, Joe, Johnny, Frank , Dave and Rosie.

James Bentley