About Jim Ed Huston

Show business is full of colourful characters and they don't come much more flamboyant than JIM ED HUSTON. The ever popular entertainer was born of Dutch and Irish parentage is a direct decendant of the original Van Harmelen family from "Harmelen" a town in the Netherlands, that dates back to the year 1246.     His father was Marteen Van Harmelen, his mother, Marie Brackett from Co.Waterford Ireland.




Edmond as he is also known as was raised in Ireland by his grandparents on the Brackett farm in Ballyduff near Lismore Co Waterford, where he recalls many long winters evening was spent round the turf fire or often at a corn threshing with his Grandad singing the old traditional Irish and Country Western Ballads and Narrations. Though the old homestead has been left to dissappear, he retains fond memories and is fiercely proud of his ancestry along with the skills he learned in those early years of life growing up in the country. His roots and humble upbringing in Ireland still remain close to his heart.   







Ever the travelling man he worked his way in a variety of jobs  between Jersey C I,  the U.K.  Middle East,  Canada, U.S.A, where he was especially privilaged to see some memorable performances at the Grand Ole Opre and made friends with some of the Country Greats during his many visits there throughout the 70s and early 80s.





It was when he decided to embark professionally in his singing career that EDMOND realised his Dutch name didnt lend kindly to the scene so he changed it to JIM ED HUSTON and he hasnt looked back sence.     During a visit to the States in the seventies he caught the attention of a few popular artists of the decade including the late Faron Young and Hank Snow who suggested he should pursue a career in country music, however due to unforseen circumstances he had to return to the U.K. so the idea of getting on a band wagon had to be shelved, in fact it lay dorment for some time, apart from a compilation video Jim Ed made with his daughter Samantha.   Although his children did not share his musical ambition never the less his son Edward and daughters Samantha and Caroline Van Harmelen, each having their own successful careers do share their Dads interests in travel and culture.  




He recieved personal recognition on the BBC World Service in 1981 with an album titled "Theres a Shadow on my Shoulder", written and produced by Chris Goldring.  Because of his vast collection of Country music and knowledge of an era he was offered to produce his own radio show on the BBC world service but he declined.    During this time Ed also frequented the Royal variety club where he likewise turned down offers, though he did do voice overs  he preferred to be in control of his own destiny and the open road, and the motto!   "Have Guitar will travel" (although he says it never made him much money & probibably cost him more on strings).  Being a man of quick wit and wry sence of humour such a statement is only to be expected.       Ed is a very private sincere and unasuming down to earth person who loves nature, friends and the simple things in life.   He likes to place particular emphasis in the storeyline of a song or narration when he is performing that is only natural, as he has re-lived much of it.   He doesnt like people who show anamosity towards others, or ego trippers who think their effort is is the final one and that everyone elses is humbug.        Known for his readiness to share any experience, within his profession, to help a fellow artist or give constructive encouragement, particularly to up and coming talent,  along with his efforts to help a charitable cause, for he is a great believer in that there is no greater reward than giving back a little of your time, at what you enjoy in life, to others who are less fortunate.     Both Jim Ed and Jules continue to give their services to needy causes on their sceduled music trips. 





In his early years of travel Ed worked at lumber for a short time in Canada, hence the name "Timber" has acompanied him through the years.       "The Waterford Lumberjack" song was composed about him by Tommie Cristie.  Back then the late great Tex Witter would announce him as "Big Timber" on stage at the Tennessee club, the "In" place where artists from both sides of the Atlantic appeared, George Hamilton 4th, Little Ginny, Hank Snow,& many others.             Between working contracts abroad Jim Ed loved to entertain every now and then. He particulary likes to cross over into other styles and cultures of music.    






Dogged with subsequent health problems for many years due to a fall,  then a serious throat problem which put further quest to Jim Eds singing for a time, after an operation he received voice coaching which gave a boost to his recovery though he still suffers some side effects now and then.  In spite of this he has built up a lucrative circuit and a staunch following over many continents especially now with the birth of internet radio etc.            He has also  graced the stage both sides of the atlantic with some well known personalities and has recieved many deserved accolades from his peers and press reports, and is featured along with 22 other show business personalities in a book compiled by Rosie Still, which he has a chuckle about.   






During his solo career he was a requested favourite at Pontins I&B Records festival at Souuthport for many years as well as working mens clubs; The Irish & Country circuits. Co-operative & Golf venues which he still  performs nowadays with JULES as a DUO entertaining for "Weddings"  "Dinner engagements," "Dancing," & "Concerts".   Jim Ed & Jules have an original country flavoured style along with some fine harmonys and a versatile repertoire that is supported with live quality self contained sound,








Even though Jim Ed didnt persue a full time career in music, he has never the less achieved much success with his mellow easy listenable country flavoured style and made it acceptable to audiences at venues outside of the country music circuit.  Many musicians who worked with him early in his career said he was a challenge as he would constantly introduce rare material to a programme and would have his own stamp on it often before they got to hear the original arrangement.  He is after all his own man with his his own original hallmark. .                                     

As he says in a verse of one of his songs, "If You Dont Like Me It Dont Matter You See, Cause Im Happy Just The Way I Am. In a Cowboy hat & a Semitone Flat"..... Once he rehearsed with a group of musicians to do a wedding at a Persian nite club in Earls Court London and ended doing a series of engagements there over a number of years.          Jim Ed has released Country, Folk, Irish, Gospel & Contemporary albums & has had success with much of his merchandise throughout a career that has spanned 55 years.     He is listed in apx forty compilation albums and has eight full titled albums on his own Indi label. He is also an acomplished writer of short stories;        He loves doing studio sessions and has some fine internationally recognised instrumentalists and vocalists credited on his albums right back to his early vinal years on "Airship Records"                                      Sometime in the mid 80s, after he made his solo debuit on the Irish circuit in the U.K he released the  light hearted ditty titled   "The Leprechaun song"  much to his surprise it became immensely popular over the radio air waves, it was listed among the 30 most requested songs over 30 years on Hendry Wymbs BBC Irish Eye. He has enjoyed many interviews over the years & still continues to receive some air play exposure not BBC mainstream and regional  programmes.  Now with the birth of internet radio Jim Ed Huston is again enjoying popularity with Jules on radio waves both from here and abroad.                                     




Finally a book on Jim Eds life growing up in the village of Ballyduff is still awaiting completion of the longest chapter...........[The Last Chapter]       

Thank you for sharing some of the highlights in this biography.   You can sample Jim Ed & Jules songs on "JIM ED HUSTON UTUBE CHANNEL".....  Go back to the top to check out Reviews or Contact Enquiries.       

Profiled by Maureen Miller