It was 1965. A
new dance craze was sweeping the nation. A dance that
originated from the Latino communities of the Bronx and
East Harlem, New York. The symbolic rhythms of West Africa, the
improvisation of jazz and a repertoire of Cuban styled up tempo
dance music created elements of a power musical substance
titled, 'Latin Soul'. While this new wave was seeping into the
souls music aficionados, the dance that evolved from those
pulsating rhythms was dubbed the ‘bugalu’ (Spanish) ‘boogaloo’
on its successor was a gentleman from St’ Louis named Jerry-O.
Jerome Murray on October 1939, Jerry worked as a promoter and dj
in Chicago before his travels to Detroit in the early 60’s. He
formed a band and later teamed with Robert ‘Tommy Dark’ Tharp
formerly from the Chicago group, the Ideals and created a dance
/ singing act billed as Tom & Jerrio.
witnessing kids demonstrating the boogaloo dance at a Herb 'The
Kool Gent' Kent of (WVON) record hop, the duo recorded a single
entitled, ‘Boogaloo’ b/w ‘Boomerang’ on the ABC-Paramount label.
In the spring of 1965, 'Boogaloo' charted No 11 on Billboard’s
R&B singles the week ending
June 5, 1965.
single sold a million copies, Tom & Jerrio wouldn't collect a
dime from the tune because Berry Gordy sued the duo claiming the
song was copyrighted by Motown.
After a couple
of unsuccessful singles, ‘Papa Chew Do The Boogaloo’ (Pt’s 1&2)
and ‘Great Goo-Ga-Moo Ga’ b/w 'Come On And Love Me' the duo
Jerry moved to
Detroit in 1966 where he signed on Sammy Kaplan’s Boo-Ga-Loo
label, with sessions being at United or Terra Sherma Studios.
over studio production where he created a party mood atmosphere,
stocked with liquor and pretty women and shouting words of
encouragement to listeners over the music, which became his
Now billed as
Jerry-O, his first solo hit was the dance classic ‘Karate
Boogaloo’ b/w ‘The Pearl’ on Bert Berns' Shout label
(subsidiary of Bang Records). The song hit (No 16 R&B Sat Oct
vocals was provided by the Debonaires, Telma Hopkins and Joyce
Vincent, who 4 years later gained fame as Dawn with Tony
Orlando. The session musicians were Motown's finest, The Funk
the Boogaloo trend with ‘Funky Boogaloo’ b/w 'Push Push' (No 40
R&B Feb 3, 1968) and ‘Dance What Cha Wanna' b/w Afro Twist Time'
(spring 1968). Meanwhile during the summer of 1968, a new hip
swirl dance emerged from the black community called’ the four
corners'. 'Funky Four Corners' b/w 'Soul Lover' released on
and White Whale Records, capitalized on the popular dance,
making it a regional hit at block parties and social gatherings.
into obscurity from the music business
and died in
of his music will continue to live in the hearts of many
party-hearty fans throughout the world screaming out those
immortal words in spirit ..... ’papa soul!’
(Chancellor of Soul)
Materials should not be used or altered without the
expressed permission of the author, Mike Boone,
(Chancellor of Soul).