1967 P. J. Proby – Niki Hoeky
Western outlaw John Wesley Hardin has a descendent who had a series of hit records in the UK: his great-grandson James Marcus Smith. James was born in Houston, Texas, and moved to California after finishing high school, intending to become an actor and music star. He started finding minor roles and also recorded at least two singles by 1960.
A songwriter convinced James to change his name to P. J. Proby, the name of one of her former boyfriends. He moved to London and began working with producer Jack Good. Several top ten hits in the UK resulted from recording sessions in London.
Two of his singles reached the Hot 100 in 1964 and 1965, but they stalled at #70 and #91 and were his only chart appearances in the US until 1967.
P. J.’s pants split at the knees during a 1966 show in Croydon, London. As a result, he became banned from nearly every theater in the UK and was also kept off the television networks in the country. After that unfortunate event, he only had a few more minor hits before leaving the UK charts for over thirty years.
He briefly fared better in the US when he released Niki Hoeky in December. The single reached #25 on the Hot 100 in 1967 in the United States, but that was his last appearance on the chart.
P. J. had a difficult life after tax problems forced him into bankruptcy in 1968.
He continued to record music and appeared in oldies shows through the years. He currently lives in Twyford, Worcestershire.
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