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The James Hand Collection, no. 17 - Eleventh Birthday (1963)

James Hand

Silent | 1963

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  •  James' 11th birthday  
  •  Party at the Playdium 
  •  Zip line at the Playdium 
  •  Bottle feeding kittens 
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Captured in this home movie are scenes of James Hand’s eleventh birthday celebration. Family and friends gather at the Playdium where they ride a zip line over a pool, swim and splash in the water. Also caught on film are tiny kittens being bottle-fed.

James Hand Jr., known today as James "Slim" Hand, was born in 1952 in Waco, Texas.  As his website states, "rodeos and country music surrounded James from an early age, and quickly became part of his daily life.” Hand began writing songs as a child and was performing for audiences by the age of thirteen. Hand has worked as a rodeo rider, truck driver, and a horse trainer, a job he still does today despite his success in the music industry. While he is often associated with the music scene in Austin, Hand lives in West, Texas, a neighboring town of his birthplace, Waco. Hand has been locally celebrated by Texans for decades, with a large fan base that includes Texas legends such as Willie Nelson and Darrell Royal. His brand of country music is "true" country music, honky-tonk music, reminiscent of Hank Williams or Lefty Frizzell. Hand has spent his life playing at endless bars and clubs, independently released three albums, and opened for Willie Nelson several times in the early 2000s, but his first nationally distributed record was not released until 2006 after Ken Irwin of Rounder Records saw him perform at the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas. "The Truth Will Set You Free," produced by country music hard-hitters Ray Benson and Lloyd Maines, catapulted Hand to international success. Hand has since released his album "Shadow On The Ground," which was the subject of a documentary in 2008, and continues to tour nationally and internationally, playing his real deal country music all over the world.