This son of a preacher man grew up in North Carolina, and attended Carolina Friends School, a small Quaker school in Durham, NC. In 1979 he moved to Nashville to start his music career. He recorded an album there, but it was never picked up by a record company. He then moved to New York City and appeared in several country musicals.
Eventually a tour landed him in Los Angeles. There, he recorded an album for CBS records in 1989, but it was never released. In 1991 his album Planet Of Love was released. The following year, George Strait recorded two of Jim's songs (The King Of Broken Hearts and Where The Sidewalk Ends) on his multi-platinum album, Pure Country.
Lauderdale has recorded an album with bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, and co-written over thirty songs with Robert Hunter, of Grateful Dead fame.
In regards to working with Ralph Stanley, Jim says:
"Ralph Stanley is kind of the Mount Rushmore of music for me. You learn so much about music and history by just being near him. Bluegrass now is experiencing a real renaissance and may be becoming bigger than it ever was. And I think that the same thing could happen to the kind of country music that I love."
His songs have been recorded by many artists, including:
Lauderdale knows how to write a song... about this he says:
"My songs all seem to have a little twist to them, whether melodically or lyrically. I guess they're just kind of different. I don't know exactly what it is that all these artists respond to about them, but I'm glad they do."
Onward Through It All (1999 RCA)
I Feel Like Singing Today (1999 REBEL RECORDS)
Whisper (1998 BNA RECORDS)
Persimmons (1996 UPSTART (BAYSIDE))
Every Second Counts (1995)
Pretty Close to the Truth (1994 ATLANTIC)
Planet of Love (1991)
Point Of No Return (1989 (unreleased))
You can check out one of Jim's concerts at www.hob.com