bassist, keyboardist, producer, singer-songwriter and synthesizer player
who worked with Touch on their 1977 LP, Energizer. In 1978, he played bass and sang
background vocals on Alvin Fields’ Special Delivery.
He co-wrote “Disco Ride” with Eltesa
Weathersby and Michael Zager
and it was recorded by The Spinners on their album, Dancin’ and Lovin’.
In 1981, he
arranged and played bass and synthesizer for Fantasy’s You’re Too Late, and three of
his songs made the cut on Johnny Guitar Watson’s That’s What Time it Is: He and Zager
wrote “Go For It” and “Planet Funk” and the two of
them collaborated with Watson on the title track. He played bass on Elusion’s Show and Tell, arranged, played
synthesizer and sang vocals on Fantasy’s Sex and Material Possessions, and dueted
with Dave Valentin on “I Don’t Wanna Fall in Love (I Just Wanna
Dance)”, in 1982. In
1982, he co-produced Anthony Franklin’s “Hot Number” with
Keith Diamond. He reunited with
Fantasy on He’s Number One in
1985, playing bass and arranging for and playing the synthesizer.
In 1987, Billy
Ocean covered a half-dozen songs which Jolyon co-wrote, including “The Colour of Love”, on Tear Down These Walls.
Jolyon hit the trifecta
with Jonathan Butler with the hit song “Lies”: It reached #5 on the R&B chart,
#16 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and #27 on the Billboard Hot 100. The two also made in-roads on the
“Lies” went to #53 there and “Holding On”
peaked at #81. They teamed up
again in 1988 on Butler’s More
Than Friends, co-penning eight songs together, including the title
August 1988, Freddie Jackson took the Barry Eastmond/Jolyon
Skinner song “Nice ‘n’ Slow” to #95 in
Holland. Stateside, Jolyon navigated toward production: He played keyboards for and produced
Millie Jackson’s Tide is
Turning, produced tracks 2 and 3 on Sarah Jane Morris’s
self-titled album, and produced “Soulmate”
on Wee Papa Girl Rappers’ The
Beat The Rhyme The Noise.
In 1989, Ruby Turner recorded a pair of Loris Holland/Jolyon Skinner songs, “It’s Gonna Be Alright” and
“It’s Gonna Be Alright”
went to #1 on the R&B chart; “Paradise” was the title track
of Ruby’s album (which Jolyon produced) and
was included on the soundtrack of the 1990 film, Dancing Through the Dark.
In 1991, Jolyon sang backing vocals on Millie Jackson’s Young Man, Older Woman. Then he and songwriting partner
Barry Eastmond teamed up with Freddie Jackson
again on 1992’s “Come with Me Tonight”, “Time for
Love Tonight”, and “Will You Be There”. In 1995, the three joined forces
again, this time for Freddie’s Private
Party, which included backing vocals by Jolyon
as well as another Eastmond/Skinner creation,
“Lay Your Love on Me”.
They tried again on Freddie’s 1996 release, “Can We
meantime, Jolyon was busy trying to put the
Backstreet Boys on the map, doing the vocal arrangements for their
eponymous debut. One of the
songs he co-wrote for them, “Boys Will Be Boys”, was used on
the soundtrack of the Eddie Murphy comedy, The Nutty Professor.
Then Jolyon began a long-time
collaboration with Joe Thomas, who just bills himself as Joe, providing
lyrics and background vocals for his 1997 offering, All That I Am. Jolyon co-wrote seven tracks on the album.
He and Veit Renn also contributed
“Forever I Do” to Solid Harmonie’s
self-titled effort. In 1998, Jolyon, Joe, and Michele Williams had one of their
songs, “You Should Know Me”, hit the
big screen as part of the soundtrack of Caught
Up. About two-and-a-half
months later, ‘N Sync took another Renn/Skinner
song, “For the Girl Who Has Everything” to #22 on the Swiss
produced Marc Dorsey’s Crave,
co-writing the title track with Dorsey, Timothy Monroe Allen, and Larry
Campbell. It was subsequently
used in the 1999 film, The Wood.
In 2000, Bryan
B included “Take Good Care of Her”, a Butler/Skinner
collaboration, on his album, This
produced Marc Dorsey’s 2000 CD, If
You Really Want to Know.
“I Wanna Know”, a Joe/Jolyon/Michele Williams special, shot to #4 on the
Billboard Hot 100. On 21st
March 2000, ‘N Sync released , No Strings Attached, including
extras by Renn and Skinner, “Could it Be
You” and “This is Where the Party’s At”. The latter also made the cut on an
‘N Sync maxi-single, released on 12th June 2000. In 2001, Joe released a pair of
duets co-written by Jolyon: “Still Not a Player”
with Big Punisher and “I Believe in You” with ‘N
Sync. “I Believe in
You” went to #72 in Holland.
‘N Sync released Celebrity,
and it included the J.C. Chasez/Veit Renn/Jolyon Skinner composition, “Selfish”,
and Jolyon sang background vocals on Joe’s Better Days. Joe and Jadakiss
recorded “I Want a Girl Like You”, written by a committee
including Jolyon, for the 2002 film, Drumline. He and Joe wrote “Home
Tonight” and he and Delroy Andrews and
Darcy Kahn wrote “It’s Beginning to Feel Like Love”,
recorded by Mis-Teeq on their 2003 album, Eye Candy, which Jolyon
In 2004, he
produced Hed Kandi’s Back to
Love and “I Wanna Know” was included
on the soundtrack of White Chicks. Vanessa Bell sang his and Jonathan
Butler’s “Pressing On” on her 2005 album, Sing to Glory. In 2007, Peabo
Bryson returned to the scene with Missing
You, and its first track was “Heavenly”, co-penned by
Butler, Eastmond, and Skinner. Joe and Jolyon
continued to collaborate in 2007 and 2009 on Joe’s albums, Ain’t Nothin’
Like Me and Signature.
The Spinners recordings
Disco Ride (Jolyon
Skinner/ Eltesa Weathersby/Michael