Both a vocalist and a guitarist, James Chimombe's career included stints with OK Success, the Acid Band, the Ocean City Band and the Huchi Band. It is with these groups that James garnered his reputation as one of Zimbabwe's best
vocalists and guitarists. Helping meld Kenyan, South African, and Congolese influences into Zimbabwean music, Chimombe's work would have a lasting effect on his nation's music scene. James also worked in American Country & Western sounds into his music, combining them with African horns and light, lilting guitar lines.
Chimombe got his start as a rhythm guitarist with Thomas Mapfumo's Acid Band. As the Acid Band disbanded and the Blacks Unlimited formed, James was recruited by OK Success. As one of Zimbabwe's first resident Congolese bands, OK Success recruited top Zimbabwean musicians and produced a string of hits in the 1960s and 1970s. During the 1980s Chimombe moved on, this time as a band leader. Until his death, Chimombe led the Huchi Band, as well as the Ocean City Band during the 1980s, producing hits which would immortalize himself as a Zimbabwean musical pioneer. James is best known for his hits such as Jemedza, Mhindoro Iripo, and Sarudzai. Chimombe also spent some time with the Real Sounds of Africa. James, like many of his musical compatriots, died of AIDS in 1990. -Dandemutande