Dick James (born Leon Isaac Vapnick; 12 December 1920 – 1 February 1986) was a British music publisher and singer. He and Brian Epstein established the Beatles‘ publisher Northern Songs. Later, with his son Stephen, James founded the DJM record label and recording studios, which signed Elton John and Bernie Taupin.
James was born on 12 December 1920 in the East End of London, to Polish Jewish immigrants. His father was a kosher butcher. He sang with North London dance bands in his early teens, and was a regular vocalist at the Cricklewood Palais by the age of seventeen. James joined the Henry Hall band, and made first radio broadcast in 1940, but joined the Army in 1942. After World War II he continued to sing with leading bands, including Geraldo‘s. Later still, James was also a part-time member of The Stargazers, a popular early 1950s vocal group. In the 1950s he often appeared in the top ten Melody Maker vocal charts alongside the likes of Dickie Valentine and Frank Holder.