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    Jackson, Pervis (May 1938 – 18 August 2008)

    Bass singer from New Orleans, Louisiana, whose family moved to Michigan when he was still a child and who grew up singing doo-wop with his friends on the streets of Detroit.  Along with high school chums, Henry Fambrough and Billy Henderson, he co-founded The Domingoes, who went on to become The Spinners. 

     

    In 1961, they scored their first top-thirty hit with “That’s What Girls Are Made For” and followed it up with “Love (I’m So Glad) I Found You” which reached a meager #91 on the charts.  They made a smashing debut at the Apollo Theatre in 1964 and it lead to other live dates in The Big Apple.  Pervis must have had an eye and ear for talent, as he predicted that The Jackson 5 would become big before they ever hit the Apollo stage, in spite of the laughing incredulity of a couple of his music associates.  Two months hence, the quintet hit #1 with “I Want You Back”. 

     

    In the meantime, The Spinners were just getting started.  They laboured in relative obscurity for seven years under the Motown umbrella until Stevie Wonder produced and wrote a song for them entitled “It’s a Shame”.  It peaked at #14 in 1970 and its follow-up, “We’ll Have it Made”, also penned by Wonder, reached the Billboard Top 100. 

     

    In 1972, after years of being ignored by Motown and doing administrative chores for the label, The Spinners signed with Atlantic Records, on the recommendation of Aretha Franklin.  (Aretha was another one of those acts that nobody knew what to do with, and she had found a home at Atlantic.)  Here The Spinners hooked up with producer Thom Bell who helped them create a unique sound which permeated a string of hits.  “They Just Can’t Stop It (Games People Play)” went to #5 and featured Pervis’s most famous bit of singing, the “12:45” part of the song that earned him the nickname, “Mr. 12:45”.  “Could it Be I’m Falling in Love” fell in at #4, “I’ll Be Around” reached #3, “Rubberband Man” stretched to #2, and “Then Came You”, with Dionne Warwick, became their first #1, and Dionne’s. 

     

    The Spinners littered the record shelves with LPs in the 1970s, including Live!, Mighty Love, New and Improved, and Pick of the Litter.  They also made their share of television appearances on programs such as Cher, Disco ’77, Laverne & Shirley, and Saturday Night Live.  In 1979, they released Dancin’ and Lovin, and it yielded two of their biggest hits, a pair of medleys co-written and produced by Michael Zager:  “Cupid/I’ve Loved You for a Long Time” and “Working My Way Back to You/Forgive Me, Girl”.  The latter reached #2 in the States and #1 in the U.K.  Among their last albums with Atlantic were Cross Fire and Labor of Love. 

     

    The Spinners then eschewed recording for live performances on the oldies circuit.  Television specials like A ‘70s Celebration:  The Beat is Back also whetted the public’s appetite for nostalgia.  In 1999, The Spinners were enshrined in the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.  Pervis made his last appearance with them on 19th July 2008.  Unfortunately, his health was declining and two days after being diagnosed with cancer of the brain and liver, he passed away at Sinai Grace Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.  His funeral was held at the Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of Christ and he was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery. 

     

    He left behind a legacy of love and music, and did not leave this world until imparting to his wife Claudreen his vision of an autism fund to benefit children like his own son, Pervis Jackson, Jr. 

     

    The Spinners recordings

    Disco Ride (Jolyon Skinner/Eltesa Weathersby/Michael Zager)

    Working My Way Back to You/Forgive Me, Girl (Sandy Linzer/Denny Randello/Michael Zager)

     

    Sources:

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pervis_Jackson
    2. http://www.lastingtribute.co.uk/tribute/jackson/2876781
    3. http://www.wxyz.com/news/local/story/Spinners-Singer-Pervis-Jackson-Dead-at-70/nRPrvWCqZE2p68yUN6p69g.cspx
    4. http://www.eurweb.com/story/eur46320.cfm
    5. http://shopping.yahoo.com/p:Pervis%20Jackson:1927072228
    6. http://themusicsover.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/rip-pervis-jackson-august-18-2008-the-spinners/
    7. http://www.fandango.com/pervisjackson/filmography/p596766
    8. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/sep/16/1?gusrc=rss&feed=music
    9. http://www.movieeye.com/celebrity_birthdays/details/8444/Pervis_Jackson.html
    10. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=30094740
    11. http://music.barnesandnoble.com/Artist/Pervis-Jackson/c/137337
    12. http://www.michronicleonline.com/articlelive/articles/3037/1/Pervis-Jackson-a-founding-member-of-the-Spinners-dies/Page1.html
    13. http://www.discogs.com/artist/Pervis+Jackson
    14. http://www.radioio.com/genres/hiphop-soul/pervis-jackson-of-the-spinners-dies-at-the-age-of-70
    15. http://www.soultracks.com/story_pervis_jackson
    16. http://oldschoolmusiclover.wordpress.com/2008/08/27/pervis-jackson-of-the-spinners-passed-last-week/
    17. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article4567381.ece
    18. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1248418/bio
    19. http://claudreenjackson.com/general/about.htm
    20. http://www.motifator.com/index.php/forum/viewthread/444118/P15/#458469
    21. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Want_You_Back
    22. http://www.phpbb88.com
    23. http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/views/obituaries/2008/08/25/pervis-jackson-64375-21597384/
    24. http://shopping.yahoo.com/p:Pervis%20Jackson:1927072228:page=discography:subpage=also-appears-on
    25. http://www.utopiaartists.com/bio_spinners.htm
    26. http://hollywood.premiere.com/celebrity-Pervis+Jackson
    27. http://blog.livedoor.jp/summerbreeze2/
    28. http://www.imdb.de/title/tt0321031/
    29. http://www.imdb.de/title/tt0694990/
    30. http://books.google.com

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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