Black Sabbath photo at Jim Simpson’s house (early 1970s)

Jim Simpson was a trumpet player and photographer who moved to Birmingham in 1964. His band Locomotive had a big hit in 1968 with a song called ‘Rudi’s In Love’. The follow up single was released on his own independent record label named Big Bear after John Peel’s affectionate nickname for him.

When Black Sabbath opted to release Simpson from his management obligations following the release of their second album, he continued to work with other Birmingham bands such as Brewer’s Droop, who signed to RCA in spring 1972, and as agent for the American Blues performers who he had booked into Henry’s Blueshouse.

Jim Simpson is still working in music to this day and runs the Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival, now in its 28th year, as well as continuing to manage artists and release music on Big Bear.


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