A man is shaped by the life he has lived and the role models that offer inspiration to his life. James' family (especially his father) provided the foundation to which has given him life's rules to live by. Life lessons taught by James' father, shaped him into the man he is today, and unknowingly, his voice.
James Anthony was born James Anthony Dempsey in December 1959. James and his family lived in Queens (Astoria), New York. During that time, James' Grandfather Dempsey was the Treasurer of the Bricklayers Union between 1960 & 1970 and his father and uncles were Masons within the construction industry. Grandfather Dempsey was also served as a WWII Veteran. In 1967, James was 8 when his family and Uncle's family, relocated to the desert of Las Vegas, Nevada where James started music classes that year. The family entered the gaming industry and worked with individuals that showed them the ropes. They befriended many influential people within the old regime of Vegas and thus began to develop and change the way tourism was handled in Las Vegas.
James' uncle Dale Dempsey conceived, manufactured and placed 21 and Craps video training video machines in many of the casinos during the 70s called M&D Video Systems Corporation of Las Vegas (reference newspaper article).
James' father Jack (pictured right with James' mother Mary, both in blue at table's end, at the Cal-Neva Lodge) and uncle Dale, started "Las Vegas Travel" from their investment company, "Dealers Investments", which took off in the early 70s. Las Vegas Travel changed the the economy and the way tourism was handled in Las Vegas and one by one, the hotels & casinos came on board with our family's model of bringing in gamblers to Nevada Casinos from around the USA, and thus the Gambling Junkets were born.
Some of the hotels included the Flamingo, Stardust, The Mirage, Hilton Hotel, the Sands Hotel, CalNeva Lodge in Lake Tahoe, and many others. In fact, James was given a Cal-Neva Gold Card when he was 19 years old (1979) for anything with a signature. They even set James up in Frank Sinatra's room when James would visit. (as long as Frank wasn't staying there at the time). The flight into the Lake Tahoe Airport was like riding over the top of a roller coaster when it crested the mountains.
1973: James entered high school and was swooped up by the choir teacher, Mr. Clark Black, as a baritone/bass singer within the varsity & male choirs throughout his four years at Chaparral High School in Las Vegas. In the mid-‘70s, James was a bit of a scrapper and didn't like bullies pickin' on the underdog and at 6' 2" tall and 220 lbs, he understood what it took to survive in a tough gambling town at a young age. James' Irish/Italian family and relatives enjoyed the groove of Vegas' action and surrounded him with constant big band and soulful sounds of Sinatra, Elvis, Dino, Tom Jones, Bobby Darin, Doris Day and as a teenager, Earth Wind and Fire, Al Green, Ohio Players, Jackson Five, Average White Band, Billy Paul and so on, thus exposing James to some of the best music ever written and all of this right at his front door. This cat's got it in his blood and man does he deliver!
1978: James joined the US Navy where he proudly and honorably served our country for 4 1/2 years with A-7 Squadron VA-122 based in Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, CA., VA-122 Det. Fallon, NV and throughout the U.S. and Aircraft Carriers for training. He was Honorably discharged in 1982 and then completed 2 years reserves.
1982-1984: James returned to Las Vegas where he auditioned and was accepted as the last drummer for the established band called Roadhouse to which they opened concerts and performed to support their albums. Roadhouse principals retired in 1984 and later inducted into the LV Rock Hall of Fame in 2013.
1984-1989: James relocated to Los Angeles to begin a tough music career and although there were many ups and downs, James began a successful music career as a session drummer/percussionist and backup singer. James also continued to perform in various showrooms in Las Vegas throughout his career and his credits include working with various record labels including RCA Records, booking agencies including the national GMA Agency as a national touring artist and voice over talent. (pictured right on tour circa 1985)
1991: James finally hung up his sticks and eventually purchased a Florida based corporation where he and his wife would have and raise a family. August of 2004, James was in the wrong place a bolt of lightning hit a tree near James and presented him with partial paralysis on his left side. This partially affected James speech due to tongue weakness from the electrocution causing which thankfully was a temporary neurological disruption from the brain. In 2005 after months of physical rehab and seeing his speech therapist, James regained 100% mobility and speech.
James sold his corporation that year and would travel as a business consultant/trainer throughout the United States only to feel the music itch coming back.
2011: James decided to return to the music business and researched the industry for a few years so as to understand the industry's changes. After a 22-year break, James realized that many music venues have developed some very bad trends that are not good for the industry nor the entertainers.
2012: James' upbringing in Vegas had unknowingly given him a different view and feel with the lyrics and music, so James decided to record some songs as a reflection of his life in music. James' father, Jack, had asked James to record some of his favorite Sinatra torch song arrangements and was very happy because he knew that James had a unique voice. Father and son worked and shared thoughts and song choices and bonded like never before.
2015 and 2016: Sadly, James' father passed January 12th, 2015. In honor of his father, James made the decision to stop performing and began working with Opera and Vocal Coaches over the next 2 years so as to strengthen his vocal ability, breath control and expand his range to gain proper vocal technique. This began with training from International Opera Vocalist Amanda Fish and American Idol coach, Per Bristow. After four years of rigorous and disciplined vocal exercises, James is ready entertain.
2015: James receives a call from the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and offered a contract to perform for our U.S. Congress with his swing big band on Capitol Hill to provide Las Vegas style entertainment and sing the songs of Frank Sinatra. He is immediately a smash hit on the Hill.
2016: James was again requested to perform on Capitol Hill for the U.S. Senate Members who heard James the year before, James accepted with great honor. James performs a unique selection of song arrangements recorded by Frank Sinatra, including R&B and Jazz Blues songs from the Great American Songbook. James' father would have been proud.
2017: James debuts and performs in Las Vegas at the Golden Nugget in the showroom, February on and was well received by the ticket holders and other vocalists alike. Wayne Newton states that James has such a unique voice and compares it to have similar traits and delivery as Sinatra.
James is now working with high-level industry professional musicians, conductors and orchestrators to arrange and rearrange fresh new music.
James Anthony is one of the last real Torch Singers to perform the classic saloon style torch songs with phrasing that will touch your emotions and will perform the beautiful ballads and Broadway songs that will touch your heart with his warm baritone voice.
James now resides in the Washington, DC area and continues to work with nationally acclaimed artists and the finest musicians and performers across the USA. Folks, please join the mailing list and we will send an email blast when we are in your area.
If have questions and/or if you are a performance venue needing more information, please send an email to info@LoveItProductions.com
Las Vegas 2017 With Wayne Newton and Andrea Tyler
To perform is to feel emotion! To sing is to feel life!