BRIGHTON - It’s been a long, exciting journey for musical rocker Jimmy Thurston. The well-known artist returns to one of his favorite venues Friday night as part of the Island Pond summer series.
For Thurston, it’s a homecoming of sorts as he has played the area circuit for over five decades. He said, "I love it up here. The people are hardworking and honest. They work hard and play hard and I’ve made a lot of friends there over the years.”
Thurston has been a part of a lot of people’s lives in the Northeast Kingdom, from the days of raising money on the back of a hay trailer on the common in Irasburg.
Jimmy remembers, “They had a damn good fast-pitch softball team, Vermont State champs, and I think New England champions as well. One of the best the state had ever produced from a little town of 750 residents. They wanted to go to the national fast-pitch championships in Knoxville, TN, and I wanted to help them. We drew hundreds of locals and raised over three grand. That was a lot of money in 1979, you know. Anyway, they went to the nationals and took about half the town of Irasburg with them. We were glad to help.”
When the legendary Valley House hotel burned in the '90s, Thurston stepped up again for the area and held a fund-raising event at the Outskirts bar in Newport Center.
To Thurston, it’s all about the people. “We have had a great life, a great time performing, and helping folks along the way is the right thing to do.”
Most folks remember Jimmy from his highly popular band from the '80s, Boogy Beast. Before that, Jimmy T and the Cobras had a big run through the '60s and '70s.
Thurston is now in his early 70s. He will return to the area with his present ensemble, Jimmy T and the Sleepy Hollow Boys. They kick it off this Friday, Aug. 3, at 6 p.m. and will play for four hours on the green in Island Pond.
Thurston has had many profiles written about him and a recent one, by Elsie Lyn of the Essex Reporter, is repeated with permission in the Aug. 1, 2012 edition of the Newport Daily Express on page 3.