James Marvell

James Marvell

GIVE ME A BREAK Radio Good morning Folks This Morning’s Guest is James Marvell “Love Can Make You Happy” We Explore the start of the Outlaw Country Movement…

November 22 2013




by Brenda L. Madden
Brenda L. MaddenOutlaws and Country Music have gone hand in hand for quite some time, but exactly where did it all begin? While most remember the big outlaw surge in the mid-70s by Waylon and Willie, The Country Cavaleers were years ahead. The long-haired anti-drug duo, James Marvell and Buddy Good, donned cowboy hats and shocked the country music community with their traditional country sound.Founding member, James Marvell’s musical career spans the genres of pop, country and gospel. His first taste of success came with his garage band, The Skopes in 1965. That teenage band also included, Buddy Good, the other founding member of The Country Cavaleers. With the assistance of manager/producer, John Centinaro, The Skopes released their first single, “She’s Got Bad Breath” on USA Records, but just as the song was catching on, it was banned by Scope for trademark infringement. That brush with success and a thirst for more, led James and Buddy to begin recording with the band Mercy. “Love Can Make You Happy” was a million-seller and Mercy found themselves ranking in Billboard’s Top 10 alongside the legends – The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra.Despite their success in the pop market, James began missing his early country music roots. At the age of 12, he learned to play guitar, eventually meeting Bobby Bare’s Uncle Johnny, who taught James about country music. However, during his formative teenage years, the pull to rock ‘n roll was too much and it led him down that musical path first, but his desire to play and sing country music returned as it did for his singing partner, Buddy Good.So the two musicians headed to Nashville, where they secured a recording deal with MGM Records and a booking agreement with Buddy Lee Attractions. However, when they got to Nashville, they didn’t conform to the conservative country music image of the time…they kept their long hair and modern outfits…added in cowboy hats and a traditional country music sound. With that contemporary look and traditional musical style – they met resistance from within the industry, but garnered the respect of fellow artists. As Grand Ole Opry Member, Jean Shepard stated, “In 1970, James & Buddy (The Country Cavaleers) had a style of music and appearance unlike anything at that time and in my opinion they were the first country music outlaws.”

James continued his musical journey with solo recordings in the 80s and in the 90s found success in the Christian Country market with appearances on gospel networks CTN, TCT and TBN. Over the years, he also developed his talent as a jewelry designer selling his creations to legends such as Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Bill Monroe and Willie Nelson.Despite a musical career full of ups and downs and twists and turns, James Marvell has no regrets. His song, “Urban Cowboys, Outlaws & Cavaleers,” now in the Top 10 on the IndieWorld Country Chart continues a tradition he began a long time ago.


Billboard and Cashbox charts at #2 with Mercy and the mega hit “Love Can Make You Happy”. As members of the band Mercy they charted in the top 10 with music legends such as Elvis, Frank Sinatra and The Beatles… James Marvell in The Cavaleers helped kick off a trend. The trend became known as the Outlaw Movement which included country music greats like Waylon Jennings, WIllie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristopherson and so many more… “Many fans remember our hit “Love Can Make You Happy” and want to go back to that time so they come to hear my wife Faye and I sing them at our hippie shows.” James Marvell

June 18, 2013



Frank Gosman Of CSA Records, Cash Endorsement And More

{ On the 19th day of July 2009 James Marvell got word through Nashville booking agent Jim Case about the July 14th passing of Country Showcase America Record’s president Frank Gosman. Frank was instrumental in building the careers of many in country music including the early 70s duo The Country Cavaleers. Gosman’s CSA Jamboree out of Beltsville Maryland became the main stop for dozens of country stars who would pass through Baltimore and DC on the way to their shows in the 70s and 80s. James Marvell remembers well the many times he and former Mercy member Buddy Good known as The Country Cavaleers in the 70s would stop at The CSA Jamboree for a special show! Marvell and Jim Case will always remember their friend and country music pioneer Frank Gosman of CSA Records.}
After forming The Cavaleers James and Buddy heard the call of another voice-the voice of Jesus. They decided to take His direction, devoting their lives’s work to Christ and arming themselves in a war against drugs. “I felt the mission to go into Country Music and steer kids away from drug abuse.” The new duo Country Cavaleers [http://jamesmarvell.com/museum2.html ] made up of Good and Marvell was an oddity because of the members’ long hair. “You’ve got to remember it was right after the movie Easy Rider,” explains Marvell.
But thanks to their manager John Centinaro, a childhood friend of James and Buddy they got the chance to perform with such major stars as Faron Young, Freddy Fender, Barbara Mandrell, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn and many of the Grand Ole Opry legends. TV appearences included ABC’s Wilburn Brothers plus several of the early morning Ralph Emery TV shows at WSM. Future stars Don Williams and Dickie Lee produced their first record. John Centinaro also helped to manage the group Mercy in the late 60s.

The MGM/CSA recording duo Country Cavaleers disbanded in 1976.

Marvell went solo in 1976 turning his attention back to Gospel Music and the original calling on his life which only got stronger in 1973 when he accepted Jesus as Savior through the ministry of Bob Harrington aka The Chaplin of Bourbon Street. In 1974 James met another powerful minister who inspired him greatly, evangelist Leroy Jenkins. He began making special singing appearances on the Leroy Jenkins Crusades all across America during the middle to late 70s and even took a musical program to a South Carolina prison in the 80s to perform for Jenkins and his other co-inmates. History shows, Jenkins was given a pardon. It was during this time that James recorded a country version of the Jack Sigler original “Love Can Make You Happy” which even jumped into Billboard and Cashbox thanks to the help of record promoter Mike Borchetta and the help of Mr. Harold Lipsius at Jamie Records in Philadelphia. Mr. Lipsius who was involved with the Pop hit thought James did a great job with the country version. Turn your sound on and listen to another of James Marvell’s country hits at Only Country Music ~ Marvell  Another crucial turn for Marvell in the 70s is when he met Teresa Hannah, co-host of the popular gospel TV show, Nashville Gospel.

It was during one of those early Nashville Gospel tapings that James Marvell met Dr. Bobby Jones who in 1978 asked Marvell to perform his dramatic composition “Prophecy” on one of his early gospel shows at WSM. Bobby Jones saw way ahead, that the song “Prophecy” would stand the test of time! In the 80s James turned his attention to designing jewelry for country music stars. To see more go to the “Museum” link on this website. [ In 1986 Johnny Cash, who remembered Marvell from his Country Cavaleer days, called him …”One Of The Finest Singers Around.” ]

* Marvell credits the early 90s and the small friendly town of Branson Missouri for the inspiration to follow Christian Country & Country Gospel Music. It was there in Branson that James joined Country Legend Willie Nelson (through Frank and Jeanie Oakley) who opened his theatre to sunday worship services and also featured Marvell’s Country Cavaleer exhibit in his Willie & Friends Museums in both Nashville and Branson. Every weekend the Johnny Minick family would bring their anointed musical sounds and preaching to Nelson’s Branson theatre. James Marvell became part of the artist line-up and also helped to promote the services into the largest weekend gospel programs in Branson’s history! The worship services became the talk of the town in the early 90s and today there are many such weekend gatherings throughout all of Branson, Missouri. In 2005 James scored another #1 hit with a song written by Branson country legend Jim Owen. Marvell is also thankful to Juliet Massey and his aunt Irene for encouraging him to come back into music after a long absence. Massey wrote the lyrics to the song “Banking On Jesus” which he performed on The Pat Boone Show in 1996 (music by Tommy Crews). “Banking On Jesus” went to #1 in Christian Country/Country Gospel for James Marvell but more important were the God inspired lyrics by songwriter Juliet Massey.  [ Note: Marvell will soon have a link and display of the Branson Newspaper articles about the historical worship services in the early 90s. We hope you come back again to view them. ]

The new millenium now finds James Marvell still at it with over a dozen christian hits and noted TV appearences on many International TV Networks like Gospel Country with Jimmy Snow, TBN, Nashville Gospel, Bobby Jones, The TCT Network and The Pat Boone Show. “Prophecy”, “NewAgeWorld” and “America You Must” by Marvell have been airing as theme songs on the worldwide prophetic radio and TV program NEWSWATCH MAGAZINE, hosted by David J. Smith reaching every city in the U.S.A. daily.

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