Jim Shelley (born February 29, 1952) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, writer, painter, and former high school teacher. Since the release of his first album, 12 Songs in 1979, Shelley has usually recorded his albums in his home studio on a four or eight track tape machine, more often than not performing all the instrumental and vocal parts himself, though in recent years he has employed a full band on a number of occasions.
Shelley is a prolific writer, having released more than 500 songs on over forty records, most of them since 1989. He played a prominent role in the 1990s lo-fi music scene.
Over the last couple of decades, Shelley has performed sporadically on the East Coast, mostly in or near his home town of Bridgewater, Virginia, with various rock bands under the names of Book Of Proles, The Plague Dogs, The Karl Rove, Fear + Whiskey and most notably Book Of Kills.
On February 10, 2010, Shelley announced on the "official" band web page, bookofkills.com, that he was disbanding Book Of Kills for the foreseeable future, if not for good. A month later, on March 13, 2010, the group (Shelley, George Nipe and Mike Hicks) performed one final time at the Little Grill in Harrisonburg, Virginia, the venue where the very first line-up of BOK, Brian Temples, Dustin Bugg, and Mike Johnson, had delivered their first live show in 1994.
In early 2010, Shelley created a new group called Fear + Whiskey. That band apparently folded in the spring of 2013 after playing a dozen or so shows over the course of three years.
In 2012, Shelley published his autobiography, The Ballad Of Jim Shelley: My Life As A Failed Rock Star.
Shelley also announced in mid-2013 that he was practicing on occasion with former Book Of Kills members Casey and Jane Firkin, and George Nipe III with the intention of playing one or two (and possibly more) live shows. This group of musicians had, by the end of 2013, indeed played three well-received gigs, though by early 2014 they disbanded without notice.
Shelley lives with his wife, Mary Lou, in Bridgewater, Virginia. He has two children, Christian and Daniel. His faithful dog, Sadie, died in mid-2015.
Shelley continues to create new music and in July of 2015 announced the creation of a "Book of Kills Single of the Month Club".
(Parts of this bio are taken from Wikipedia.org)