Jim Puhalla picked up the guitar as a young man and in his late teens found himself in one of the most popular R&B groups in Ohio’s Mahoning Valley…The Hi Guys. The group was noted for its tight funky arrangements and landed a contract with Capital Records. On Capital the group was renamed The Loading Zone. After a short stint with Capital, the group came back as The Hi Guys and reigned as a premier R&B group until they disbanded in early 1971. Jim was recruited by the Soulsations and began to re-shape the group. He was called the “Groove Master” as he taught the Soulsations to play in a tight groove. Jim also took over as business manager for the Soulsations and directed the band to move into a two-guitar lineup. Tom Figinsky was recruited and the Soulsations became LEFT END. When bassist Roy Guerrieri departed from LEFT END in 1983, Jim moved to the bass guitar where he could set the groove from the bottom up. LEFT END’S longevity could be directly attributed to the management and financial skills of Jim Puhalla. He kept the group grounded in a musical groove as well as a financial groove. It could be said the Jim Puhalla was the Captain of the stormy seafaring LEFT END.


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