Jim Weiss has been a professional storyteller, recording artist and author for over 31 years.
Jim was born and raised in Highland Park, Illinois, and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech/Communications from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Creative Writing and Drama/Theatre occupied a lot of Jim’s time throughout high school and college.
Jim was tremendously influenced by his father and grandfather, who were wonderful storytellers. While neither role model told stories professionally, they took the art seriously and shared their delight in stories from literature, world history and family lore, inspiring a love of learning in Jim and his brother. As an adult, Jim applied what he had learned, and expanded upon it.
Jim met Randy, his future wife, after university. Randy herself would go on to garner national and state awards as an educator and counselor, and much later, would lend her expertise to Jim’s recordings. The couple married in December, 1975, and lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. They are proud parents of a daughter, Danna, son-in-law, Jeffrey, and grandson, Issac.
Jim and Randy established Greathall Productions in 1989, and during the next quarter century, Jim recorded more than 60 recordings under that label. During those years, Jim also traveled the world telling stories and presenting workshops on storytelling, writing, teaching and more. In addition, Jim produced and performed numerous unabridged recordings of fiction and non-fiction for other publishers and authors, including Susan Wise Bauer’s acclaimed “The Story of The World” series. To date, Jim Weiss has received more than 100 awards for his work.
Real live storytelling
Jim’s “live” storytelling performances have been described as “exciting” and “enchanting”. His connection to his audience is magnetic and interactive, proof positive that storytelling today rejuvenates one of the first and most personal forms of entertainment. Adults and children alike leave the performance feeling that they have really met the characters from a wide range of classic literature, folk tales and history. Jim’s presentations garner respect for the art of storytelling, and for both the art and the wisdom we pass on through the great stories of classic literature and history.
From the start, Jim and his wife Randy viewed their business as the manifestation of a commitment to take creative risks and to trust that living one’s dream can never NOT work out. Both feel a personal obligation to honor the inner voice that says, “Create!” Interestingly, their own, inspiring story is one of the most requested in Jim’s remarkably large repertoire.
In 2015, Jim’s dream continued down a new and exciting path as he and Randy licensed their recordings and business operations to Susan Wise Bauer of Well-Trained Mind Press (aka Peace Hill Press). Jim’s newest recordings are, “Heroes, Horses, and Harvest Moons: A Cornucopia of Best-Loved Poems, Volume I” ; “Pharaohs and Queens of Ancient Egypt” & “Courage and a Clear Mind: True Adventures of the Ancient Greeks” are available from the Well-Trained Mind Press, Amazon, ITunes, and other distributors.
- JIM SAYS:
“Our storytelling recordings work precisely because we value the original sources, and have tried to convey our love of the stories, and the wisdom they contain, to a new generation of listeners and readers. Storytelling today rejuvenates one of the first and most personal forms of entertainment. Telling stories is pure joy.”
Awards & Honors
Jim Weiss is the proud recipient of the following awards:
- Parents’ Guide to Children Media Award
- Parents’ Choice Foundation Gold and Silver Awards
- Film Advisory Board Award
- Oppenheim Best Audio Award
- The American Library Association Notable
- Children’s Recording Award
- Storytelling World Award
- Booklist Editior’s Choice Award
- Pegasus Award
- AudioFile Earphones Award
- The Old Schoolhouse Award
- Practical Homeschool Readers Award
- Children’s Music Web Award
- Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice and Seal of Excellence Award(s)
- INDIE Award
- NAPPA Silver and Gold Award(s)