James F. Pasquale

October 12, 1940 ~ August 20, 2021 (age 80)


James Frederic “Jim” Pasquale passed away on August 20, 2021, following a courageous fight with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Jim was born on October 11, 1940, in Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts to Joseph James Pasquale and Serena Maria Eaton. At an early age Jim’s mom relocated to Meridian, Mississippi. Jim was a naturally talented musician and songwriter, a loving husband and father. He was a U.S. Air Force Veteran, serving in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard from 1960-66. Jim was honored to have served our country. Jim’s musical talent, kindness, humor, and loving spirit will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know him. 


Jim’s musical career spanned more than 60 years, starting with his time as the lead guitar player for the Original Flares. The Flares were formed in 1957 by Jim and Darryl Vincent when they were still high school students. The band’s first recording came out just one year later on the Sandy Records label. This recording was the first of more than 45 songs that the band recorded for various labels including: Sandy Records of Mobile, Alabama; Crash Records of New Orleans, Louisiana; Chess Records of Chicago, Illinois; and Astro Records of Mobile, Alabama. Many of the Flares recordings were played in heavy rotation across southern radio stations, reaching the top of the charts in cities like New Orleans, Meridian, Jackson, Pensacola, Birmingham, and Atlanta. 


During the 50s and 60s, the Flares also toured with musical icons like Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Elledge, Frankie Ford, Jimmy Clanton, Dr. John (Mac Rebenneck), and Jerry Burns, and even appeared on the TV series Radio Ranch. Thanks to their discography and storied live performances, the Flares are still remembered as the most important Rock ‘n Roll band to come out of Meridian, Mississippi. Jim counts many of these great Southern music artists as his friends along with Joe Stampley, Chris Ethridge and George Cummings (founding member of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show.


After his time in the Flares, Jim took a sabbatical from music to pursue a life in the corporate world. It would be nearly 20 years later that he was coerced back into what he loved best and that was making music. In 1984 he made the move to Nashville to further pursue his musical career. In Nashville, Jim wrote, played, and recorded with many more musical legends. For nearly 30 years, Jim worked out of the same Nashville studio as the likes of Johnny Cash and Jimmy Buffet, and he wrote and published songs with Ray Charles, Ed Bruce, Gene Watson, and Dorothy Moore, amongst many others. Jim co-wrote the song “Southern Gentleman” with Bobby Whitlock, a former member of Derek and the Dominos, who went on to perform the song live with Eric Clapton in London. Jim also received a Blues Award nomination for his song “I Found Someone,” recorded by Dorothy Moore. Jim’s contributions to music were recognized when he received the Jimmie Rodgers Dreamers Award in 2017. Later in 2017 Jim landed 6 of his original songs in the movie “Happy Logs”.


Jim and his wife Reneda, both semi-retired, co-founded the Pensacola Beach Songwriters Festival. For more than a decade they’ve brought many of Nashville’s top songwriters to perform at the festival. The most special part of the festival to Jim was the songwriters actually participating in the classrooms of the local schools. He believed that music should be a key part of education.  



Jim is survived by his wife: Emily Reneda Pasquale; Children: Kimberly Ann Pasquale-Riley (Clint) and James Stephen Pasquale (Polly); Stepchildren: Jillian Deanna Cross, James Erik Cross (Dana), and Daniel Chad Black (Julie); and Grandchildren: Robert Chase Riley (Natalie), Stephany Alyce Pasquale, Ayden Chadwick Black, Brayden Daniel Black, Olivia Claire Cross, and Whitley James Cross.


A memorial services will be held 11:00., Tuesday, September 14th, 2021 at Barrancas National Cemetery, 1 Cemetery Rd. Pensacola, Florida 32508 with full military honors.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Jim’s name to Pensacola Beach Songfest In-School Music Program. Music was Jim's love, passion, strength and his medicine for healing. He would often say that we’ve got to "keep the music playing." The school program that was part of the Pensacola Beach Songwriters Festival was his favorite part of the festival. Jim believed in the power of music and was adamant about sharing that power with the children of Pensacola Beach and surrounding areas schools. In lieu of flowers, a remembrance in Jim's honor has been set up with proceeds going to “Jim Pasquale’s Keep the Music Playing Remembrance Fund

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