As the lead singer of the legendary Persuasions for 40 years, Jerry Lawson established himself as one of the most distinctive singers of his generation, gathering a ferociously loyal following along with heaps of critical acclaim. For many, Lawson and his group became the faces of a cappella music, continuing to successfully record and perform for years after the genre was written off by many as dead.
After four decades and 22 albums, Lawson decided to retire from the Persuasions and moved to Arizona, vowing that his a cappella days were over. He began to work with jazz combos and big bands, showing that his voice sounded just as good with a band. However, fate intervened, and Lawson was introduced to a local a cappella group called Talk of the Town and he found magic...again. Lawson had first met the San Francisco-based TOTT (Rafield Ragler, Stan Lockwood, Paul Carrington and Carl Douglas) while traveling through Northern California a few years earlier, and there was a sense of fate that they would meet again. They did, and after taking time to mull over starting over again with a new group, Lawson took the plunge, becoming lead singer for the group.
While certainly reminiscent of the Persuasions, the sound of TOTT was noticeably different, with more focus on a single lead singer and a smoother tighter group harmony backing Lawson's gruff leads. In 2006, the group began recording their debut album, Talk of the Town, which was released in June, 2007. Clips from the album can be heard on their MySpace Page.
by Chris Rizik