P. J. Proby

P. J. Proby  (born James Marcus Smith, November 6, 1938) is an American singer, songwriter, and actor.  He has also portrayed Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison in musical theater productions.  The stage name P.J. Proby was suggested by a friend, Sharon Sheeley, who had a boyfriend of that name at high school.  Proby recorded the singles “Hold Me”, “Somewhere” and “Maria”.  In 2008, he turned 70, and EMI released The Best of the EMI Years 1961–1972.  He still writes and records on his own independent record label, Select Records, and performs in the UK in Sixties concerts.  (More from Wikipedia)

The two brothers also had some early success as songwriters.  In 1967P. J. Proby had his biggest U. S. hit song with the Top 30 release “Niki Hoeky” that was written by Pat VegasLolly Vegas and Jim FordBobbie Gentry performed the song in 1968 on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.  


(August 2013)


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As recounted in Greg Shaw’s liner notes for the English Freakbeat, Volume 2 CDKim Fowley connected with another American expatriate, P. J. Proby.  After several failed singles in this country, Proby had a series of UK Top 20 hits that included his cover of a Lennon/McCartney song, “That Means a Lot” that the Beatles were never able to record to their own satisfaction. 


(January 2015/1)


Last edited: April 3, 2021