The family moved to Springfield, Missouri, and Jim was educated in Springfield Public Schools, graduating from Hillcrest High School in 1964. Jimmy Guy and his sister, Carrie Sue, exhibited a great interest in music and began entertaining family members at a very young age. He stepped up his musical pursuits in high school, forming such popular 1960s Springfield groups as the Essex Four and The Raiders.
After high school, he began his professional music career playing night clubs across the Midwest and South, often touring with his young family. When his sons began school, the family returned to Springfield and Jimmy Guy became a popular personality in the Springfield night club scene. Jimmy Guy began his songwriting career in the 1970s, dividing his time between Springfield and Nashville, Tenn. Artists who have recorded his songs include Jeannie Bryant, Vicky Self, The Unknown Band, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Jim released one solo album, several singles and was a principal in The Unknown Band. He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his two sons, Jody and Stoney, who along with their dad comprised his all-time favorite group, The Cottengim Band.
Jody, wife Sandy, grandson Isaiah, and granddaughters, Kaylah and Baylee, reside in Marshfield. Grandson Seth Sosebee resides in California. Stoney, wife Jennifer, grandson Colin Newman, and granddaughter Hannah, reside in Springfield, Missouri. He is also survived by trading strategy his sister, Carrie Sue Barnes, her husband, Ted of Springfield, and their sons, Tony and Tim. A memorial service celebrating Jimmy Guy's life will be held in Greenlawn Funeral Home North on Monday, June 15, at 6:30 p.m. A musical celebration in honor of Jim's life is being planned and will be announced soon.
Jimmy Guy Cottengim at the May 2009 BSO Picnic