Lord They Said I Wasn't Gonna Be Nothin - Lord They Said I Wasn't Gonna Be Nothin - Lord They Said I Wasn't Gonna Be Nothin - Lord They Said I Wasn't Gonna Be Nothin 

Spickum Publishing, Inc. is the home of Joe Simon. Spickum Publishing publishes music and books.


Grammy award winning blues legend shares his remarkable and uplifting rags-to-riches story and explains why he turned his back on the music industry to spread the word of God.

Joe Simon’s extraordinary story began in humble Simmesport, Louisiana, where he displayed an early love for music, singing with congregations in several Baptist churches. In his teens he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and looked to put his passion for singing to good use, harmonizing for numerous doowop groups, the last of which fired him! Shortly afterwards, Simon decided to go it alone, performing rhythm and blues twice a week at a local nightclub for five dollars an evening. He owned a single suit which he couldn’t afford to have cleaned, only pressed, and each night he’d perform in a pair of borrowed shoes, courtesy of his friend Roland. Things were so bad in his early career that Joe found himself unable to cover the basic cost of rent, leaving him at one stage, sleeping in a chicken coop. But thanks to his indomitable spirit, a stellar talent and an impassioned love of music, Joe Simon’s fortunes were about to change forever.

Simon had been sleeping rough for more than two years when he met Mr. Gary Thompson, owner of the Hush Recording Company. After hearing Simon perform with a doo-wop group, Thompson convinced him to record a song of his own. With the help of Thompson and a young man named Carroll Vories, they assembled a rag-tag band of local musicians to record the first hit of Simon’s career, “My Adorable One” in 1964. The record would prove to be his break-out, garnering a wealth of radio play and catapulting him from the squalor of the Bay Area to New York’s grand Apollo Theatre, where he played to frenzied crowds. His first major hit, “Let’s Do it Over” with Vee-Jay records, came the following year. With his stock skyrocketing, he became close with legendary WLAC radio personality John Richbourg, who invited him to move to his new label Sound Stage 7 as a producer and artist. Simon accepted the offer and went on to be credited on a plethora of records which saw him blend country music and his distinctive baritone vocals to great effect on songs like “The Chokin’ Kind” - the song winning him a Grammy in 1970 “You Keep Me Hanging On”, “My Special Prayer and “Moonwalk”.

Following his resounding successes at Sound Stage 7, Simon left to become lead artist and part label owner at Spring Records in 1970. For the next decade he would produce and sing on countless R&B and crossover hits including “Drowning in the Sea of Love”, further solidifying his legacy as a true progenitor of the genre. He toured the globe, appearing on television, scoring movies and collaborating with some of the biggest artists in the world until the mid-1980’s. B.B. King and Ray Charles were personal friends, and although Simon was at the very peak of his career, he knew that something was missing; he was becoming disenfranchised with the music industry and the poisonous trappings that came with it. Eventually Simon abandoned his music career in order to focus on his faith.

Don’t Give Up, You Can Make It If You Try, You Can Win is the true embodiment of the American dream realized. Joe Simon’s life and legacy are an inspiration to music fans and Christians alike and show that with talent, tenacity and prayer almost anything can be possible.

About the author: Joe Simon has owned two major record companies, had three number one records, thirteen top ten hits, fifteen top twenty singles and nine top forty hits. He received a Grammy for his song “The Chokin’ Kind” in 1970 and a Grammy nomination for his song “Power of Love” in 1971, and has received numerous gold record awards. He composed and performed the score for the cult movie “Cleopatra Jones”, the focal song for which would later rise to prominence again in the 1991 blockbuster “Boyz N The Hood”. Joe has performed on the Johnny Carson Tonight Show, Soul Train and American Bandstand as well as touring internationally for many years. In 1999, Joe Simon was inducted as a Pioneer Award honoree by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. Now known as Bishop Joe Simon, he lives in Cook County, Chicago, IL, and is champion of the Bishop Joe Simon Community Crusade and various charitable movements. Don’t Give Up, You Can Make It If You Try, You Can Win is published by Spickum Publishing.