Wednesday, October 19, 2011


The original five Persuasions, Jerry Lawson, Jimmy Hayes, Joe Russell, Jayotis Washington, and Herbert "Toubo" Rhoad - fell together by chance in 1962, harmonizing on outdoor basketball courts in Brooklyn after pick-up games. They went on to release 18 albums (the group has released about 27 at this point) and to perform or record with artists including Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler, Stevie Wonder, Lou Reed, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Little Richard, Nancy Wilson, The Neville Brothers, Country Joe McDonald, B.B. King, John Hiatt, Leon Redbone.

In 1988, baritone Rhoad, whose rough-edged voice was considered the "glue" of the group's sound, blending the high profile voices of Lawson and Russell in particular, died in the middle of a tour from a stroke. His ashes were scattered by his fellow Persuasions in his beloved San Francisco Bay, and the group continued as a quartet for the next seven years, always introducing Rhoad faithfully at each concert. Baritone and former Drifter Bernard "B.J." Jones joined in 1996, and in March, 1999, the addition of first tenor (and frequent album addition) Raymond X. Sanders (The Coasters, The Paragons) made the group a sextet. Both had previously toured and recorded with The Persuasions throughout the '90s. In 2002, lead singer/arranger and founding member Lawson left the group to pursue an independent career. He currently works as a specialist in caring for disabled adults, and more recently has recorded an album with the venerable San Francisco a cappella group, Talk of the Town

The Persuasions' remaining members continue to tour and record, most recently with new lead singer and arranger Dave Revels. They recorded a tribute to the band, U-2, on Chesky Records, a tribute to Bob Dylan on Zoho, and in 2009, were inducted into the Doo-Wop Hall of Fame (even though they have never considered themselves a doo-wop group!) at Symphony Hall in Boston. Jerry Lawson was inducted as a solo artist the following year.

Knockin’ On Bob’s Door showcases The Persuasions’ highly individual a cappella takes on Dylan’s classic 60’s and 70’s songs – all deeply ingrained into the collective memory of generations of music lovers. The Persuasions’ inimitable sound is intact, with two group members Jimmy Hayes (bass) and Joe Russell (second tenor) from their original 1962 line-up still with the band, and on this recording. Raymond Sanders (first tenor) has been member of the Persuasions since 1996. Bernard "BJ" Jones, a past member, has appeared on several Persuasions recordings. Latest arrival in 2003 was Dave Revels, taking over as lead tenor and as artistic director and arranger for the group.

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door Track Listing:
1. Mr. Tambourine Man
2. All Along The Watchtower
3. Like A Rolling Stone
4. Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right
5. Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)
6. Blowing In The Wind
7. Positively 4th Street
8. You Ain’t Going Nowhere
9. When I Paint My Masterpiece
10. Lay Lady Lay
11. Just Like A Woman
12. Things Have Changed
13. Forever Young
14. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

Joe Russell – Second Tenor
Jimmy Hayes – Bass
Dave Revels – Lead Tenor
Raymond Sanders – First Tenor
Bernard “B.J” jones – Baritone
With guest Cliff Dawson: Tenor

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Persuasions signature sound ended when lead singer, arranger and producer Jerry Lawson left. He graciously allowed the 3 remaining originals to use the name so they could continue to generate some income. The new line up is equivalent to taking Gladys Knight out of the Pips or Jagger out of the Stones..or as one loyal Persuasions fan put it " The Persuasions without Lawson is like Thanksgiving Dinner without the turkey."


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...