The Tribute to George Strait show debuted in April, 2008, and has continued to be a fan favorite since.
Born in California, James picked up his first guitar at the age of four, after listening to Elvis Presley sing in the movie Loving You. Moving to Texas at age 11, he began singing gospel music in church. His professional singing career began as lead singer for a bluegrass group at Dogpatch USA, near Harrison, Arkansas, followed by regular performances at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.
His career progressed as he shared the stage with established artists as diverse as Dolly Parton, Joan Baez, Rosanne Cash, the Osmond Brothers (including Donnie and Marie), and Larry Gatlin, to name a few.
James spent a number of years touring and recording with the two-time Grammy award winning country group, The Kendalls, best known for the mega-hit Heaven's Just a Sin Away. When Jeannie's Father, Royce, passed away in May of 1998, Jeannie asked James to sing lead with her. They toured and recorded as a duo for many years after.
James returned to Branson in 2001 to co-found Thunder Ranch, a 71-acres ranch dedicated to providing a safe haven for foster and disabled children, now known as Jacobs House at Thunder Ranch. For the next six years, James took time from his touring to perform at the Jim Stafford Theater in Branson to raise money and awareness for Thunder Ranch. He is still actively involved in raising money for the ranch and serves on the Board of Directors. For this as well as his other benevolent contributions to the Branson community, James was awarded the 2009 Branson Spirit Award.
James began playing and singing John Denvers music long before John became an internationally known artist. James always found ways to incorporate Johns music into his performances. John and James eventually met and became friends. Therefore, in 2007 when James decided to make Branson home, it seemed only natural to pay tribute to his friend with a show .
In his search for a venue suitable to Johns music, James found the Branson IMAX Theater to be the perfect setting. He took his CD of John Denver songs and asked the owners of the IMAX, Paul and Ann Bluto, to listen and consider his idea for a tribute show. They listened to the CD, loved it, and called James three days later. An eight-day booking turned into 500 shows per year, most likely a Branson record.
s music for a number of years, a tribute to a living music legend seemed appropriate.