James Radcliffe was born on November 18, 1936, in New York City. There he attended school and the All Souls Episcopal Church, where he was an altar boy and choir member. As a teen he worked for a year at the Jewelry Sales Corp. on 44 Street from September 1952. Jim enlisted in the airforce in 1954, immediately signing with the entertaintment corp. He sang lead with a five man group group called The Fascinators, and sang solo accompanying himself on guitar.