Jim Gilstrap was born November 10, 1946, in Daingerfield, Texas. He began his music production career in the music industry when he returned from serving in the Vietnam War. Earlier groups he worked with include the Doodletown Pipers and The Cultures. In the early 1970's, Jim was one of the backing vocalists in Stevie Wonder's backing group, "Wonderlove", appearing on Wonder's albums, "Talking Book" and "Innervisions". Jim sang the opening two lines of the Wonder song "You Are the Sunshine of My Life". He subsequently signed a recording contract with Chelsea Records in 1975. His recording of the Kenny Nolan-penned "Swing Your Daddy" was a #4 hit in the UK Singles Chart in April 1975, and reached #10 in the U.S. Billboard Black Singles chart.
Jim also recorded two albums of his own during the 1970s, "Swing Your Daddy" and "Love Talk". In 1974 he featured on Quincy Jones' jazz-funk composition "Soul Saga (Song Of The Buffalo Soldier)", from Jones' "Body Heat" album. Jim also provided the male lead vocals for the theme music to the 1970s television program Good Times and his "I've Got You Where I Want You" (1975) track was used in the soundtrack of the film "Three Days of the Condor". Later that decade Jim started working as a session artist for the UK singer Elkie Brooks on her album "Live and Learn" (1979), among other performances.
More recently Jim has written an original song for the Japanese film "Survive Style 5+" entitled "A Lament" and worked with the group Side Effect on their track "Run, Run, Run" that was released on Bell Records.