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Leroy, James

LEROY, James
Born: April 3, 1947
Died: May 10, 1979 in Ottawa, Ontario
James Leroy was born in 1946 in Martintown, Ontario. When his father became the city-wide franchisee for Canadian Tire in Ottawa the family relocated there in the mid-60’s. Despite the tutelage of Bruce Cockburn to hone his skills as a folksinger, Leroy decided to dive into the contemporary pop field. With the assist of The Esquires’ Gary Comeau starting in 1970 he began the process of assembling a band around Leroy which initially included Ritchie Grand of the Mynah Birds. But, it took until 1971 for all the parts to gel with the addition of former members of the Harry Young band JUMBO (David Oslund, Gibby Lacasse, Chuck Bergeron) along with Gary Comeau and Val Tuck (from Canada Goose) to play and record his original material. One song Leroy had written was “You Look Good In Denim” and the band used Denim as its name. James Leroy and Denim were signed to GRT Records and managed several singles throughout 1973 before disbanding. Leroy continued on with GRT as a solo artist. In the mid-70s he was entertainment manager at the Water Tower Inn in Sault Ste. Marie where he hooked up with the touring Major Hoople’s Boarding House. He convinced them to drop the Major Hoople’s part of their name and fronted the band briefly. After leaving Boarding House, he collaborated with a group originally from Winnipeg called The Terry Crawford Band, reworking many of the songs he had written for Boarding House to suit the voice of lead vocalist Terry Johnson under the new handle ‘Crawford’. Leroy committed suicide and died at Ottawa’s Macy Hotel, May 10, 1979 at the age of 32. with notes from Richard Patterson, Harvey Glatt, George Pollard, Gary Comeau, Hope Stone, and Reg Moore.   

From Jaimie Vernon’s Canadian Pop Encyclopedia