James 'Jim' Douglas Milne passed away on Saturday, June 16th in Lions Gate Hospital, Vancouver after a short illness. He was 70 years old.
Always known as The Downchild Blues Band’s “original bass player." he was a founding member with Donnie Walsh and Richard Walsh (Hock) in 1969 and performed on the band`s earliest recordings, Bootleg, Straight Up, Dancing, Ready To Go and So Far. His bass playing is featured on the Downchild classics, “Flip, Flop & Fly,” “Shotgun Blues,” “(I`ve Got Everything I Need) Almost” and many of the songs that gave the band its signature sound.
Born in the Hamilton/Stony Creek area, he moved to Toronto at a young age. It was the city that opened the door to his career in music. After his departure from Downchild, in 1977, he headed for Vancouver to continue his journey in blues. While in Vancouver he played with The Foreman-Byrnes Band (Al Foreman & Jim Byrnes) and Kenny Brown & The Pervaders. Backing blues legends Lloyd Glenn, Lowell Fulson and sitting in with B.B. King were memories he cherished.
In the ‘80s he returned to Toronto, joining The Morgan Davis Band for a short time before relocating to Huntsville ON, where he switched musical gears and played country music with Ed Turley & Maple Street. In 2005 Jim moved to Gibsons BC on the Sunshine Coast to be close to his son Doug Leyton. He eventually gave up playing music for health reasons but it was still a big part of his life and he was proud of his contribution to Canadian Blues.