Jim Dandy’s Black Oak Arkansas

Jim Dandy’s Black Oak Arkansas


Jim Dandy’s side project from Black Oak Arkansas, Jim Dandy’s Black Oak Arkansas, began in 1983. Their three albums have spanned 16 years, and feature an array of musicians Jim has played with. The legendary frontman lets his full ability out on these records. He is widely cited as influencing artists such as Van Halen and David Lee Roth.

JIM DANDY's black oak arkansas

Origins Of Jim Dandy

The Knowbody Else (as BOA were originally called), formed in Black Oak, Arkansas, by high school friends in 1963. Founding members included Ronnie “Chicky Hawk” Smith (Vocals), Rickie “Risky” Reynolds (Guitar), Stanley “Goober Grin” Knight (guitar), Harvey “Burley” Jett (guitar), Pat “Dirty” Daugherty (bass), and Wayne “Squeezebox” Evans (drums). By ’66, James “Jim Dandy” Mangrum was installed as frontman, with Chick Hawk becoming the band’s stage production manager. After years of writing and performing, The Knowbody Else moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1969. They signed with Stax Records and release their debut, self-titled, album. The effort was largely ignored by the public, but helped the band redefine their sound to form into the Southern Rock that emerged on later albums.

Black Oak Arkansas

Following trips to Los Angeles, California, the band signed to fellow Atlantic Subsidiary label, Atco Records, and released their self titled album in 1971. This release was highly critically acclaimed, and is often considered the Black Oak Arkansas’s best. The record featured enduring BOA classics like “Hot And Nasty”, “Lord Have Mercy On My Soul” and “Uncle Lijiah”. This album launched the band’s career, receiving RAII gold accreditation, and paving the way for multiple gold records within the following decade.

Jim Dandy’s Black Oak Arkansas

jim dandyFollowing huge success within the band, an accident that forced Jim Dandy to temporarily leave Black Oak Arkansas in 1980. However, Jim returned to perform with a series of Black Oak musicians, under the name “Jim Dandy’s Black Oak Arkansas” in the mid-1980s.

Jim Dandy’s previous fame, and outstanding stage presence quickly earned label attention. And, in 1984, they released their debut album, Ready as Hell, through Hacienda Records. It is often considered a Jim Dandy solo album, but demonstrates continual progression from the BOA sound. Although the record performed admirably, it never reached the heights of BOA.

Unfortunately, issues at Hacienda forced the label to drop Jim Dandy. Thankfully, Heavy Metal America (a subsidiary of Revolver Music Ltd) picked up the band, and previous release, for their follow up album, The Black Attack Is BackFollowing the alternate sound of Ready as Hell, Black Attack Is Back returned to the trademark Jim Dandy’s Black Oak Arkansas sound. It contained the crushing power that was ever present on previous albums. The return to their full power ensured that the record was a critical success, although flopped commercially.


Following the band’s departure from long term partner, Capricorn, and the death of singer, Ruby Starr, in 1995, the band returned to record as Jim Dandy’s Black Oak Arkansas. The Wild Bunch was released in 1999 through Cleopatra Records, but again, achieved limited success.

The band returned to record a track for a tribute to ZZ Top called Top Musicians Play ZZ Top released through Sleeping Giant Records in 2010. The band played a well regarded version of La Grange.