James W. Boyle, a well-known Malaysian jazz musician, was born in 1922 in Penang and received his education at St. Xavier’s Institution, Penang and later the Raffles Collage, Singapore, where he also later taught from 1964.
Jimmy Boyle went on to become composer and arranger for the Classical Saxophone Quartet of N.W. University, USA and Kansas City University Brass Ensemble. His composition and piano playing were heard throughout the world via the BBC and Voice of America, receiving the highest of praise from top jazz critics like Jerry Muchigan and International jazz musician like Charles Lloyd and Jack Teagarden.
His proudest moment came on 31 August 1957, were the first Malaysian flag was raise to one of Jimmy’s tunes at Malaysia’s proclamation of independence, as the Negara Ku not ready yet. He was also composed the first Malaysian jamboree song, Kemegahan Negara Ku, which was played at the birth of Malaysia in 1963.
Among his notable compositions are Putera Puteri, Ingat Ingat, Jauh Jauh, Sungai Pahang, Rayuan Mesra, Bunga Negara and Chendering. Proud to be Malaysian, Jimmy Boyle sought to express the soul and spirit of his country and its people through his compositions, until his death in 1971 at the age of 49.