Immeasurably gifted Cleveland vocalist Jimmy Armstrong, who fronted the Pony Boys in the late ’80s, has died. Armstrong was known for his soulful new wave croon and his riveting stage presence, and the Pony Boys, who included Michael Acord on percussion, John Pappa on bass, Armstrong’s co-writer Eric Elliot on keyboards, Steve Christensen on trumpet, and noted local recording engineer Jim DeMain provided a skilled and seamless platform for him to work off of.
The group released a single album Rondolets and Murder Hymns, a six-song EP, in 1988. That album earned gushing reviews and copious predictions of future stardom for the group.
Unfortunately, Armstrong’s substance demons prevented the band from going very far, and it broke up within about a year of the album’s release. It was the only significant piece of music he ever released, but one much cherished by many Cleveland music fans. Armstrong continued to perform from time to time, doing standards in clubs, something he certainly had the voice and charisma for. But the ability to make something of his own inherent creativity continued to elude him.
Armstrong was 55.
Funeral information is here.