James Leland “Jamie” Walters Jr. (born June 13, 1969) is an American actor, singer, firefighter and record producer, best known for his roles on Beverly Hills, 90210 and The Heights and his number one single “How Do You Talk to an Angel“.
While attending college, he was discovered at a bank by a casting agent who placed him in three high-profile commercials for Levi’s 501 Jeans. He then moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting and musical career. He played a bit role on Everyday Heroes. His film debut came in 1991 with the movie Shout, alongside John Travolta, Heather Graham, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Walters performed the song “Rockin’ the Pad” on the Shout soundtrack album.
In 1992, Aaron Spelling cast Jamie as the lead on the Fox series The Heights, in which he also sang the theme song “How Do You Talk to an Angel?.” The single reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 14, 1992 knocking Boyz II Men‘s “End of the Road” from the top spot. It was also nominated for an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music and Lyrics”. (The award went to Liza Minnelli.) The show was canceled by Fox, but it launched Jamie’s music career when Atlantic Records took an interest in Walters and signed him to a recording contract.
In October 1994, Aaron Spelling created a role especially for Jamie on Beverly Hills, 90210, casting him as Ray Pruit, the musician-boyfriend of Donna (played by Tori Spelling). Jamie was a cast member of the hit show for two seasons until November 1996, when he asked Spelling to leave the show to focus on his music career.
On September 20, 1994, Jamie released his self-titled debut album Jamie Walters. JAMIE WALTERS is filled with the kind of pop-rock ditties that would set any teenage girl’s heart aflutter. Yet the songs are substantial enough to win over a big sister, and accessible enough to draw in a parent or two. In addition, a number of Walters’ musical decisions–most notably, his cover of cool guy Graham Parker’s “Release Me” and the choice of Dr. John for eerie background vocals–demonstrate that he has far more nerve than most TV stars that enter a recording studio.
- “Hold On” (Steve Tyrell, Kevin Savigar, Stephanie Tyrell, Jamie Walters) – 4:25
- “The Comfort of Strangers” (Steve Tyrell, Kevin Savigar, Stephanie Tyrell) – 4:57
- “The Distance” (Steve Tyrell, Kevin Savigar, Stephanie Tyrell) – 4:52
- “Why” (Zachary Throne, Jamie Walters) – 3:48
- “Drive Me” (Steve Tyrell, Michael Landau, Kevin Savigar, Stephanie Tyrell) – 4:46
- “Neutral Ground” (Randall Bramblett, Davis Causey) – 4:21
- “I Know the Game” (Steve Tyrell, Kevin Savigar, Stephanie Tyrell) – 4:05
- “Release Me” (Graham Parker) – 3:58
- “No Rhyme, No Reason” (Randall Bramblett, Davis Causey) – 4:18
- “Perfect World” (Steve Tyrell, Kevin Savigar, Stephanie Tyrell) – 4:50
- Jamie Walters: Main Vocal, Vocal Backing, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Harmonica
- Michael Landau, Bob Mann, Dean Parks: Guitars
- David Palmer: Gut-String Guitar, Vocal Backing
- Mike Finnegan: Hammond Organ
- Guy Moon, Kevin Savigar: Keyboards
- Roy Campanella III: Loops and Sampling
- John Pierce, Leland Sklar: Bass
- Russ Kunkel: Drums, Percussion
- Gary Mallaber: Percussion
- Alex Brown, Merry Clayton, Barry Coffing, Dr. John, D. Harvey, Mortonette Jenkins, Marlena Jeter, Vonda Shepard: Vocal Backing
A&R – Kevin Williamson
Art Direction – Robin Cottle
Coordinator [Album Coordinator] – Andy Forshee, Mark Heyes, Michael Knobloch
Engineer [Additional] – David Hines, Gabe Veltri, Grant Conway, Max Norman, Michael Ross*, Steve Tyrell
Engineer [Assistant] – Michael Knobloch
Illustration – Charlie Roberts
Mastered By – Gavin Lurssen
Mixed By – Chris Lord-Alge
Photography By – Brad Hitz
Producer – Steve Tyrell
Producer [Associate Album Producer] – Stephanie Tyrell
Producer [Production Assistant] – Julia Russell
Recorded By – David Schober
Released: September 20, 1994
Genre: Pop rock
Label – Atlantic Records