Jerry Lawson Biography
Jerry Lawson was an American singer, producer, musical arranger, performer, best known as the original lead singer of The Persuasions.
Lawson was Born on January 23, 1944, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was raised in Apopka, Florida. He resided in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, Julie.
Jerry Lawson Early life
Lawson grew up in the tiny country town of Apopka, FL, about 12 miles north of Orlando. Jerry’s uncle, Booker T. Washington, owned a juke joint in Apopka named The Two Spot, he and his mom lived in the apartment upstairs during his early years. This was when there were still a million orange groves there, untouched by Disney is. His Mom, Miss Estee, fried the catfish, and Jerry kept the joint clean. Summers were spent with the family in Philadelphia, where he got to hear music that was not played on the radio in the South.
Jerry Lawson Early Career
Returning to Apopka every fall, Jerry became the deejay for the jukebox—picking music he’d heard up north, and setting the place rocking. His godfather, Luther Holland, was a radio deejay, in Fort Lauderdale, FL and between Jerry’s time spent with him and church music, Jerry picked up more knowledge and influence. It seemed there was never a time when he wasn’t either listening to music or singing. He began singing solos in church at age six.
Jerry Lawson In music
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 five albums in the Billboard Top 100, four of which were in The Billboard 200.
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 the 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 former Rockapella lead singer Sean Altman, 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.
Image of Jerry Lawson
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, Lawson 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, 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, 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.
In 2013, Lawson teamed up with Arizona hip-hop artist, VaeeDaBoi to release a new single entitled, “Deep Love”. This single was released July 15, 2013. He died on July 10, 2019.
Image of Jerry Lawson
Jerry Lawson music on billboard
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)
In 2000, The Persuasions performed in the Blues Clues film Blue’s Big Musical Movie.
Jerry Lawson Death
Lawson died Wednesday,10 July 2019 at a Phoenix hospice after a long illness.
Jerry Lawson songs
- 1969 – The Persuasions Acappella
- 1970 – We Came To Play
- 2002 – The Persuasions Sing the Beatles
- 2003 – A Cappella Dreams
Jerry Lawson (solo)
- 2003 – “Born to Run” from A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen (with Jimmy Hayes)
- 2007 – Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town
- 2009 – “The Man in Room 1009” (with James Power)
- 2009 – Thank You from Gravity at Last (with Ayo)
- 2010 – “Hallelujah Time” from The Milroys (with John & CJ Milroy)
Note: This biography is based on the available information as of 2023, and real-time updates or developments are being updated by our editorial team.