JERRY LAWSON LEGACY PROJECT
JUST A MORTAL MAN
The ‘Jerry Lawson Legacy Project,’ an exclusive series for Blues America, explores the history of Jerry Lawson and the legendary Persuasions in chronological order as explained in a biographical commentary by Jerry and Julie Lawson with special guests.
Jerry Lawson is arguably one of the most important figures in the genre of a’cappella (singing without the use of instrumental accompaniment). For more then 40 years, Lawson was the co-founder, lead singer, producer, and arranger for the Persuasions, the most famous and long lasting a’cappella group of the modern era, and the only performers of their genre to earn worldwide mainstream success. The current popularity of a'cappella cannot have occurred without Lawson's significant contributions to the genre. Lawson launched a solo career in 2004 soon after releasing an album with Talk of the Town and appearing on CBS's the Sing-Off. At the age of 71, he released his first solo album on Nashville based Red Beet Records, the critically acclaimed album, 'Just a Mortal Man.'
SHOW 22: WEEK - OCTOBER 16, 2015 - OCTOBER 22, 2015
Synopsis: Episode 2 provides the listener with early stories about Jerry Lawson and the Persuasions. Jerry sets the mood with a funny memory of The Persuasions dry cleaning mishaps with stage clothes. He also provides insight into his upbringing that helped him build a foundation as an entertainer which includes being a part of the high school band. Later he provides two lead-ins for Old Man River and the Whole World is a Stage from The Persuasions first album, Acappella which was released on Frank Zappa’s Straight Record label in 1970.
SHOW 13: WEEK AUG 14, 2015 - AUG 19, 2015
"In 1969 nobody ever heard of a’cappella. It was a boring word used to describe old doo-wop and barber shop quartets. That all changed when Frank Zappa recorded five guys from Brooklyn called, the Persuasions. Together with their leader, Jerry Lawson, they made history and brought a’cappella to the mainstream. This is the Jerry Lawson Legacy Project, an American story about one man’s incredible journey in the music business as told in his own words, only on Blues America."
MONOLOGUE EDITED BY DREW VERBIS
News / Press:
JERRY LAWSON MEDIA
The Persuasions were a big part of my childhood. I was fortunate to hear their music so often that I believed they were a household name like Elvis or Stevie Wonder. The Persuasions cover a wide variety of genres with a great deal of originality and this provided me with exposure to many forms of music, including the Blues. I was singing songs like “Members Only,” “Baby What You Want Me to Do” and “Little Red Rooster” before I was old enough to distinguish these as Blues standards. Jerry Lawson was at the root of this all; I identified his voice, arrangements, production and image with the Persuasion sound. No doubt the Persuasions were a team of five talented entertainers, each with their own individual story, but Jerry Lawson was their leader and my hero.
Drew Verbis, Host, Blues America Radio
Synopsis: Episode 1 provides an introduction to the original Persuasions, Jimmy Hayes, Joe Russell, Jayotis Washington, and Herbert Toubo Rhoad. Jerry tells the early story of how these five friends were able to take their talents from the neighborhood basketball courts of Brooklyn to the recording studio in Los Angeles, in part from a chance meeting by David Dashev which led to their first record deal on Frank Zappa’s Straight Record label. He remembers how they decided on the band name and leads-in to the first two songs from this debut album.
SHOW 37: WEEK - FEBRUARY 05 - 11, 2016
Synopsis: Episode 3 completes the remaining songs from The Persuasions first album, Acappella. Jerry talks about Up on the Roof and his unfavorable opinion of the Bounce. Julie asked Jerry to discuss the level of rehearsal and Jerry remembers the stories that led to the impromptu recording of the last song, It’s Alright. Most of which are autobiographical accounts of Jerry’s memories of childhood friends from Florida. Jerry concludes the program with a story of what came after the first album.
The Jerry Lawson Legacy Project is an exclusive series for Blues America that explores the history of singing legend Jerry Lawson and the famed Persuasions in chronological order as explained in biographical commentary by Jerry Lawson and guest host Julie Lawson. Jerry Lawson was the lead singer for the Persuasions for 42 years before launching a solo career and appearing on the CBS hit show, the Sing Off. On this episode, Jerry highlights his experience during the making of the Persuasions sophomore album release on Capital Records, We Came to Play.
SHOW 52: WEEK - JUNE 17 - 23, 2016
The Jerry Lawson Legacy Project is an exclusive series for Blues America that explores the history of singing legend Jerry Lawson and the famed Persuasions in chronological order as explained in biographical commentary by Jerry Lawson and guest host Julie Lawson. Jerry Lawson was the lead singer for the Persuasions for 42 years before launching a solo career and appearing on the CBS hit show, the Sing Off. On this episode, Jerry completes the discussions about his experience during the making of the Persuasions sophomore album release on Capital Records, We Came to Play.
SHOW 60: WEEK - AUG 19 - 25, 2016