Jerry Lawson, lead singer of the acapella group, the Persuasions, has died at the age of 75.
Lawson passed away in Phoenix, after battling a long illness, according to Persuasions producer Rip Rense.
Lawson and the Persuasions recorded 25 albums of rock, blues, pop and gospel songs, all with nothing but their own voices.
We’re not talking about this generation’s Pitch Perfect style acapella, or Jack Black’s Game of Thrones cover.
This is old school, traditionally toned, and beautifully balanced acapella. Lawson exclaimed to the Associated Press in 2000 “Thirty-eight years and we stsill ain’t got no band, man!”
Rod Stewart, one of the group’s famous fans, gave them a career boost after discovering them in the late sixties. To Stewart, Lawson was “a true soul singer”. He said, “after working together at the Hurricane Katrina Benefit Concert, I admired the undeniable depth in Jerry’s big voice”.
Rense explored how their stardom status always fell short of commercial success due to their eclectic nature. “They’ve never gotten their due…they’re the greatest, most enduring American a Capella group. In another country like Japan, they’d be declared a living treasure”.
A documentary about Jerry Lawson is reportedly in the works, and is anticipated to be released later this year.