Jimmy Manolides, 76, an early Seattle art curator, rock ’n’ roll bass player for The Frantics and Junior Cadillac, and gregarious bohemian bartender, has died.
Jimmy Manolides, who opened one of the first galleries in Pioneer Square during its 1970s revitalization and played in the ’50s rock group the Frantics — and later with roots-rock revivalists Junior Cadillac — died Monday, May 9. He was 76.
The cause was a stroke, which he had three weeks ago, according to his sister, Sandy Parnell. Mr. Manolides had been living in Ocean Shores for 13 years and died in Hoquiam.
An effervescent bohemian, Mr. Manolides was known in the ’70s and ’80s to jazz fans as the gravel-voiced bartender with a million stories at Parnell’s jazz club, owned by Roy Parnell, Sandy Parnell’s late husband. In the 1990s, Manolides was a familiar figure behind the counter at Nickel Cigar, on Yesler Avenue, formerly the Manolides Gallery.
Born in Seattle, Mr. Manolides was the son of King County Deputy Prosecutor and Seattle District Court Judge Evans Manolides. Jimmy Manolides went to Ballard High School and began playing with The Frantics. A self-taught musician, he graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in art, was drafted, and served in the U.S. Army as an art instructor at Fort Dix, N.J. When he came home, he opened the Manolides Gallery.
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“Jimmy was a bigger-than-life kind of guy, so naturally gifted with his music, his art,” Parnell said.
Mr. Manolides also loved golf and owned race horses — among them, Savannah Blue Jeans, a competitor at the Longacres racetrack in Renton, which closed in 1992.
About eight years ago, Parnell said, Mr. Manolides became a Christian and started playing keyboard at the Galilean Lutheran Church in Ocean Shores.
“Before you knew it, there was a ‘Jimmy Service,’ where he added his rock ’n’ roll touch to every gospel song he played,” she said.
Mr. Manolides married four times. He is survived by a son, Louie Manolides, 36, of Renton; his sister Sandy Parnell, 70, of Lynnwood; a niece and nephew; and two grandchildren.
A service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 15, at the Galilean Lutheran Church, 824 Ocean Shores Blvd. N.W., in Ocean Shores.