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James Stanley McCarty (born 25 July 1943) is an English musician, best known as the drummer for the Yardbirds and Renaissance.[1][2] Following Chris Dreja's departure from the Yardbirds in 2013 McCarty became the only member of the band to appear in all of its incarnations.

Jim McCarty
Jim McCarty in Basingstoke, 2008
Background information
Birth nameJames Stanley McCarty
Born (1943-07-25) 25 July 1943 (age 76)
Walton, Liverpool, England
GenresBlues rock, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, hard rock, folk rock
InstrumentsDrums, Vocals, Guitar
Years active1960s–present
Associated actsThe Yardbirds

Early lifeEdit

He was born at Walton Hospital in Liverpool, England, but his family moved to London when he was two years old. He attended Hampton School in Hampton where Paul Samwell-Smith was a fellow pupil. When playing with the early Yardbirds, he worked as a stockbroker in the London Stock Exchange.


McCarty has performed and recorded with the Yardbirds, Together, Renaissance, Shoot, Illusion, the Yardbirds reunion band Box of Frogs, Stairway, the British Invasion All-Stars, and Pilgrim, as well as under his own name and as the Jim McCarty Band. Since 1992 he has been playing with the reformed Yardbirds.

The YardbirdsEdit

(1963-1968, 1992 to date)


Together was the name of a duo formed by Keith Relf and Jim McCarty which released one UK single in November 1968 as Columbia Records DB 8491 -

  • "Henry's Coming Home" b/w "Love Mum and Dad"

produced by fellow former Yardbird Paul Samwell-Smith and arranged and conducted by former Shadow Tony Meehan. One further track from the Together sessions in June 1968 has appeared on Yardbirds compilations -

  • "Together Now"




Shoot were -

  • Jim McCarty - lead vocals, keyboards, percussion
  • Dave Greene - vocals, guitars, banjo
  • Bill Russell - bass
  • Craig Collinge - drums, percussion

They released one album on EMI records in 1973, On The Frontier. The track listing was as follows (all tracks written by McCarty unless otherwise shown) -

  1. "The Neon Life"
  2. "Ships and Sails"
  3. "Living Blind"
  4. "On the Frontier" (McCarty/Thatcher)
  5. "The Boogie"
  6. "Midnight Train" (McCarty/Greene)
  7. "Head Under Water" (Greene)
  8. "Sepia Sister"
  9. "Old Time Religion"
  10. "Mean Customer" (McCarty/Greene)

Produced by Ian McLintock
Additional Personnel -

  • Lyn Dobson and Bob Birtles (Horns)
  • B.J.Cole (Pedal Steel and Dobro)
  • Graham Preskitt (Violin)
  • John Tout (Piano on "Old Time Religion")


(1977-1979, 2001)

Box of FrogsEdit





Pilgrim were

  • James McCarty - vocals
  • Tania Matchett - vocals
  • John Richardson - vocals
  • Carmen Willcox - lyricist

They released two albums -

  • Search For The Dreamchild (1995)

All music by James McCarty, all lyrics by Carmen Willcox
Track listing -

  1. "Overture" 2.10 / "From Angels to Lovers" 4.35
  2. "Agnus Dei" 3.20
  3. "Barefoot Angel 5.00
  4. "Bound to Desire" 3.18
  5. "Devotion" 3.25
  6. "Stay" 3.40
  7. "Eternal Dance" 4.25
  8. "Conquest" 4.25
  9. "Seduction" 3.32
  10. "Longing" 4.28

Keyboards - Matthew Hammond, Clifford White (programming), Paul Miller
Guitar - Dugald Brown
Bass - Loui Cennamo
Drums & percussion - James McCarty
Cello - Julie Palmer
Accordion - Andy Thomas

  • Gothic Dream (1996)

All music by James McCarty, lyrics as shown.
Track listing -

  1. "She Walks in Beauty" (Byron) 4.40
  2. "Knight of the Silver Sword" (instrumental) 3.41
  3. "A Face to Die For" (Willcox) 5.23
  4. "Tower of Enchantments" (instrumental) 3.41
  5. "Dreams of Thee" (Shelley) 0.22
  6. "Stolen Maiden" (Willcox) 3.45
  7. "Gothic Dream" (instrumental) 3.21
  8. "Crusader's Lament" (Willcox) 4.59
  9. "My Lady Dances" (instrumental) 5.00
  10. "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" (Keats) 3.31
  11. "Immortal Moments" (instrumental) 3.47
  12. "Dream Within a Dream" (E.A.Poe) 5.00
  13. "Swinburne" (recited by Carmen Willcox) 0.44

Solo discographyEdit

Most of McCarty's recordings have been issued under the names of the group he was in at the time, but he has also released two solo CDs -

  • Out of the Dark (1994) by James McCarty

Produced by James McCarty with Dugard Brown and Andy Le Vien
All songs composed by James McCarty.
Track Listing -

  1. "Out of the Dark" 4.30
  2. "We're Still Dreamers" 4.57
  3. "Signs from an Age Gone By" 5.22
  4. "Just a Breath Away" 4.30
  5. "Just Breaking Through" 5.01
  6. "What if Summer Never Came" 3.44
  7. "Still You Don't Believe" 3.27
  8. "Longing (Link)" 0.32
  9. "Home is Where the Heart Is" 4.08
  10. "Back to the Earth" 3.43

Vocals/Drums/Keyboards - James McCarty
Guitar - Dugard Brown, Eddie Phillips, Don Crane
Keyboards - Matthew Fisher, Matthew Hammond, Clifford White
Bass - Rod Dimick
Background Vocals - Dugard Brown, Jackie Rave, Mandy Bell, Jane Relf, Don Crane

  • Sitting on the Top of Time (2009) by Jim McCarty

Produced by Jim McCarty with Ron Korb
All songs composed by Jim McCarty.
Track Listing -

  1. "The Outsider" 4.59
  2. "Blowing Through The Countryside" 3.49
  3. "Living From The Inside Out" 5.05
  4. "Hidden Nature" 5.15
  5. "For Eloise" 6.05
  6. "Temporary Life" 5.20
  7. "Near End of May" 5.25
  8. "Hummingbird" 4.25
  9. "Calling Out To You" 4.14
  10. "Sitting on the Top of Time" 4.49
  11. "Shangri-La" 7.22

Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Drums, Percussion - Jim McCarty
Lead Guitar - Jean-Michel Kajdan, Steve Hackett
Flute, Bass Flute, Bamboo Flute, Chinese Flute - Ron Korb
Piano - Donald Quan, Lou Pomanti
Viola, Orchestral Parts - Donald Quan
Bass, Acoustic bass, Dilruba - George Koller
Acoustic Guitar - Ray Hickey Jr.
Cello - Anne Bourne
Backing Vocals - Anne Bourne, Ron Korb


McCarty is respected for the innovative drumming styles which he introduced into rock music, particularly psychedelic music during the 1960s.[citation needed] In Yardbirds tracks such as "Train Kept A-Rollin'" McCarty produces a train style beat,[clarification needed][citation needed] and tracks like "Mister You’re a Better Man Than I" and "Shapes of Things" he changes tempo mid song as well as produces a martial beat, such as the fast military gallop which drives the Shapes of Things solo. "I'm A Man" has what became known as a speed metal beat, "I'm Not Talking" has the strong back beat. Although not as flamboyant as his contemporaries Keith Moon and Mitch Mitchell, McCarty’s drumming influenced others to play styles other than early rock 'n' roll, and he is especially recognized for his early career innovations, many of which received extensive American and European airplay, such as "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago" (a psychedelic rock highlight).[3]


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Biography: Jim McCarty". AMG. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  2. ^ "Yardbirds' biography". Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  3. ^ The Yardbirds, Backbeat Books, 2002. ISBN 0-87930-724-2


  • Yardbirds (John Platt, Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty) Sidgwick & Jackson, 1983. ISBN 0-283-98982-3
  • Yardbirds : The Ultimate Rave-Up (Greg Russo) Crossfire Publications, 1997. ISBN 0-9648157-8-8
  • The Yardbirds (Alan Clayson) Backbeat Books, 2002. ISBN 0-87930-724-2
  • Nobody Told Me: My Life with the Yardbirds, Renaissance and Other Stories (Jim McCarty with Dave Thompson), 2018. ISBN 0244966508

External linksEdit