Chancellor of Soul's Chronicles-Journals Dedicated To The
Historical Preservation Of R&B, Pop and It's Artists and Music


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JERRY-O

(The Papa Chew of Detroit Soul)

You're Listening to Chattin' With the Chancellor with Sammy Kaplan

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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’ (English).

 

Capitalizing on its successor was a gentleman from St’ Louis named Jerry-O.

 

Born Jerry 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.

 

 

 

After 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.

 

Although the 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 parted

separate ways.

 

 

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.

 

 

Jerry took 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 trademark.

 

 

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 7,1967)

 

 

The background 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 Brothers.

 

 

 

 

Jerry-O kept 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 both

 

on Boo-Ga-Loo and White Whale Records, capitalized on the popular dance, making it a regional hit at block parties and social gatherings.

 

Jerry-O faded into obscurity from the music business

and died in the mid-1970’s.

 

The longevity 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!’

 

 

 

                        Soulfully Yours,

                           Mike Boone

                     (Chancellor of Soul)

 

  

                          (Sept 2006)

 

 

Materials should not be used or altered without the

expressed permission of the author, Mike Boone,

(Chancellor of Soul).                

  

 

 

 

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