Like Rodger Collins, Jesse James was part of the WWII era migration of African-Americans to the East Bay. James McClelland was born in 1943 in Eldorado, AR, but his father was a longshoreman who brought the family to Richmond, CA. As a young man he would work in one of the local chemical plants by day and sing in clubs by night. He was given the name Jesse James by a MC who couldn’t pronounce his name correctly. Under the new moniker he had a string of small hits in the 60’s, but his biggest hit by far came in 1967 with “Believe In Me Baby Part 1” which hit number one on the R & B charts.
That’s about all I know about James other than this is one damn good song.