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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dream - The Persuasions with Jerry Lawson

Jerry Lawson (born 1944) is a lead singer, producer, musical arranger, performer, best known as the original lead singer of The Persuasions. Born as Jerome E. Lawson in Ft Lauderdale, Florida, he was raised in Apopka, Florida. He currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife, Julie. Jerry Lawson is the original lead singer, arranger & producer of the a cappella group The Persuasions. In the 1970s, with Jerry Lawson on lead vocals, the Persuasions had no less than five albums in the Billboard Top 100, four of which were in The Billboard 200: We Came to Play #32 Billboard R&B (1971) Billboard 200 (#189) Spread the Word #40 Billboard R&B (1972) Billboard 200 (#195) Street Corner Symphony #16 Billboard R&B (1972) Billboard 200 (#88) We Still Ain't Got No Band #49 Billboard R&B (1973) Billboard 200 (#178) More Than Before #52 Billboard R&B (1974) For many, Lawson's Persuasions became the face of a cappella music, continuing to successfully record and perform up to 2003 when Lawson went solo. In 2000 they performed in the Blues Clues film Blue's Big Musical Movie. In 2003 after four decades and 22 albums, Lawson had what he calls a calling and he left the Persuasions. He and his wife moved to Arizona, vowing that his a cappella days were over (though fate would intervene). He got his first day job in 40 years and began working with developmentally disabled adults while his wife worked tirelessly to establish Jerry as a solo artist. He began to work with jazz combos and big bands, and eventually made plans to record with The Moscow Philharmonic. He was finally living out some of his dreams that were on the back burner while working hard to keep the dying art of a cappella alive. In 2004, Lawson was introduced to 4 of the members of the San Francisco-based a cappella group Talk of the Town (Rayfield Ragler, Stan Lockwood, Paul Carrington and Carl Douglas). As fate would have it Talk of The Town had spent 35 years studying Lawson's recordings and wishing they had a lead singer like Jerry. Upon his wife's urging, he finally decided that it was no accident that he intersected with these well seasoned vocalists. Lawson became lead singer for the group. He was so impressed with their rendition of "Paper Doll" by The Mills Brothers that he and his wife were compelled to join with these vocalists to produce what Lawson considers to be the masterpiece of his a cappella career. In 2007 they independently released Jerry Lawson & Talk of the Town. While certainly reminiscent of the Persuasions, the sound of TOTT was noticeably different, with more focus on a single lead singer and a smoother tighter group harmony backing Lawson's gruff leads. The album features several guest performers including Sean Altman (formerly of Rockapella), Jerry's daughter Yvette Lawson singing lead on track 8 and his wife, manager and co producer Julie closes the CD with Jerry & TOTT summing up a bit of their 34 years together on track 20. Sadly, within a year of the album's release, bass singer Ray Ragler died on March 16, 2008. Clips from the album can be heard on their MySpace page and the CD can be purchased directly from In response to Hurricane Katrina, Jerry Lawson performed with Rod Stewart in the Katrina Benefit Telecast, September 9, 2005. Since 2007, one of the most requested videos on children's television network Noggin has been Jerry's video of "I'm Glad", which he first recorded with the Persuasions, and performed for Noggin with Talk of the Town. In 2008, during the US presidential campaign, Jerry teamed up again with Talk of the Town to record a re-working of the Dixie Chicks' song I Hope (a song which had appeared with the song's original lyrics on the Jerry Lawson & Talk of the Town album) as a tribute to then presidential candidate Barack Obama. In 2009, Jerry Lawson collaborated with singer/songwriter James Power on a tribute recording to gospel legend Reverend Claude Jeter of the Swan Silvertones, on a track titled "The Man in Room 1009". In 2010, Jerry Lawson appeared in a documentary titled "A Lesson in A Cappella", by filmmaker/director Keith Lewis, on the art of a cappella music. In this documentary, Jerry discusses the evolution and future of the musical art form, as well as performing several a cappella songs. His performances are with Talk of the Town, with a bonus feature with James Power. On March 28, 2010, Jerry Lawson was inducted into the Doo Wop Hall of Fame at Boston Symphony Hall. During the induction ceremonies, Jerry performed with the a cappella group The GrooveBarbers consisting of former Rockapella members Sean Altman, Charlie Evett, Steve Keyes, and new member Kevin Weist. They performed Chain Gang, Drip Drop, and Mint Julep. Jerry's induction acceptance speech into the Doo Wop Hall of Fame. Lawson and Talk of the Town were invited to participate in season 2 of the NBC television series The Sing-Off And in season 3 Lawson was invited back and featured on the Christmas special singing lead on "Sweet Soul Music" with members of the cast. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

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