Jimmy Vincent was born 30 June 1923 in Boston as James Vincent Faraci, and passed away on 15 April 2005 in Las Vegas.
He is mainly associated with Louis Prima with whom he began his 40-year relationship at 16.
Prior to joining Prima he was in a teen band called The Goofers, and resurrected incarnations of that band later in life.
Jimmy Vincent was the legendary drummer who created the mold for all who would follow. Louis would always sing his name at the beginning of Sing, Sing, Sing "Jimmy Vincent…Jimmy Vin-Cent!!!"
Originally born James Faraci, he was like Louis’ Italian brother.They played golf together, had great fun together, and created some of the most important music of all time.
His influence to drumming - especially shuffles - is beyond measure. During the Louis Prima Las Vegas years Prima's shows were one of the most popular attractions in the city. Major stars, such as Frank Sinatra and other members of the Rat Pack regularly caught Prima's show. There were more than a few drummers, and, perhaps many of those were drawn to the shows to admire Jimmy's style and learn a thing or two about shuffles. However, Vincent's drumming influence extended well beyond Las Vegas…
In fact, Jimmy perfected shuffles that the Jimmy Vincent Shuffle was named for his style. It is also not surprising that Prima's music employed shuffles. The rhythm is embedded into Italian festive music, and it made people want to dance. Prima was renown for his ability to read audiences and engage them, and the bouncy, happy music based on a shuffle rhythm is a perfect vehicle. Prima's Italian heritage (as well as Jimmy's and sax master Sam Buttera's) was always a part of the act, so infusing such rhythms into their music is not a far-fetched idea.
You can hear Vincent wailing away on some of Louis’ most famous songs, including “Jump Jive and Wail,” “Just a Gigolo” and all of the rest.
Vincent also had a good deal of success with another, semi-famed, Las Vegas-based lounge group called “The Goofers.” Drum fans, in particular, may remember Vincent appearing in ads for the Slingerland Drum Company, where he was wearing a monkey mask.
Vincent never cared about critics. If you wear a monkey mask while playing the drums, that’s obvious. But Buddy Rich, among well-known players, is said to have loved him. No one could play the shuffle beat like Jimmy Vincent.