Jim Dandy vs David Lee Roth

In a previous article I compared Stevie Nicks to Annie Haslam, and this time I look at two unique singers that are almost alike in appearance and movement. Big Jim “Dandy” Mangrum was the lead singer of the early 1970’s Southern Rock band Black Oak Arkansas  and David Lee Roth was of course the lead singer of the band Van Halen, but the connection between those two does not end there.  Black Oak Arkansas released their first album in 1970 and by 1975 were a major act in North America, while David Lee Roth and Van Halen were just getting started in 1975, which is why many people, including myself feel that David Lee Roth is just an extension of Big Jim Dandy.

Jim Dandy is noted for his raspy voice, long hair, and wild,  stage antics which sometimes included miming sex with a washboard which he often uses to accompany his singing, and is credited with being a major influence on David Lee, which he does not deny. Both singers tended to use the entire stage as a platform and were not afraid to be a little outlandish and sexually provocative   David lee may have been the more successful of the two but Jim Dandy was first and of that there can be no denying.

The First two pictures show them  in their prime.

Jim "Dandy" Mangrum circa 1972

Jim “Dandy” Mangrum circa 1972

David Lee Roth circa 1976

David Lee Roth circa 1976

The next two Pictures are the way they look now.

David lee

David lee

Jim Mangrum

Jim Mangrum

Even as they age they seem to still look a little alike.   As for Black Oak Arkansas, I will be doing an entire story on them in the future.

Here is Black Oak Arkansas performing their song “Hot and Nasty” and Van Halen performing “Jump”.  You compare and let me know.

8 thoughts on “Jim Dandy vs David Lee Roth

  1. Not normally my musical taste but I purchased David Lee Roth’s first solo album [EP] “Crazy from the Heat” as my daughter enjoyed the medley of “Just a Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody”. The other tunes on the EP are quite good too but not really his true style. Used to play Van Halen’s “Jump” at dances.

  2. Wow, totally forgot about Jim Dandy and black Oak arkansas. And I never relaized just how close roth did imitate Jim Dandy. for my money I tale Dandy and Black oak.

  3. Elvis, I was a Big Black Oak fan and still listen to some of there stuff today. Van Halen was a take it or leave it band for me, I liked some of their stuff but after the first album I kinda drifted away from them but always remembered the similarity’s between Mangrum and Roth.

  4. Totally agree. Roth basically took Jim Dandy’s exact act and just vamped it up even more. Even down to specific stages moves and the vocal “yelps” and such. Dandy should get some royalties, lol.

  5. Uncle Dave
    I love both bands, and can imagine a young DLR going to Black Oak concerts while VH were cutting there teeth. H e said NOW THATS STAGE PRESENTS!!!! add a little hard rock and you got DLR ……………….. got to give Jim Dandy a lot of props or we wouldn’t have had the best version of VanHalen

  6. There was a fellow from Cambridge a few years back that liked to pass himself off as David Lee Roth. He would wax elequant about all the groupies he had concurred and the places he dad been. I thought him a sick puppy myself but he had a number of people I know duped.

  7. That picture of Roth is from 1987 or 1988. Look at the shirt he’s wearing. It’s a promotional shirt from the Eat ‘Em And Smile tour.

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