Jimmy's songwriting career
Jimmy Nichols was born James Ginnetti in Columbus, Ohio. He started playing professionally at the ripe old age of 9 and he hasn’t stopped since. By age 10, he and his brothers, Tony, Joe, and Fred, were practically household names in the Columbus music scene. Following in the footsteps of his well-known and multi-talented father Joey Nichols, Jimmy and his brothers continued to make a name for themselves around Ohio, when they set out to capture the hearts of fans nationwide.
In 1993 the Nichols Brothers came to Nashville in search of a record deal. “I was working on that project when I met Davd Malloy, a Grammy Award-winning producer who co-owned the studio where I was working, with his partner Even Stevens. David asked if I could play on some songs for an artist he was then producing, Daryle Singletary.”
They made the transition from pop oldies act to country music recording artists, touring with such illustrious names as Eddie Rabbitt, Kenny Rogers, Barbara Mandrell, Mel Tillis, Roy Clark, and many others. Jimmy has also recorded with such country greats as Carrie Underwood, Billy Ray Cyrus and Mindy McCready. He’s one of the few artists to play piano on an Elton John track.
One of his most impressive achievements has been acting as musical director for two top country artists - at the same time. And he’s done it twice: first when an engagement with Reba McEntire overlapped with Faith Hill’s initial dates in 2005, and again the following year when he became MD on the highest-grossing country tour of all time: the Soul2Soul II tour featuring Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, with 118 performances in 2006 and 2007.
“I love doing demos,” Jimmy says. “I don’t ever want to stop! It keeps me in the loop on what’s being out, who’s doing what, what’s being pitched. And in Nashville, the process is so fast. You’re cutting five or six songs in three hours, so it really keeps your chops up.”
“Touring was always in my blood,” he says. I always consider myself an entertainer because of all those years I spent with my brothers. When I get onstage, I hold nothing back. As a keyboard player, I try to be as entertaining and visual as I can.”