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the persuasions

The Persuasions

l to r: Jayotis Washington, Jimmy Hayes, Jerry Lawson, Toubo Rhoad, 'Sweet Joe' Russell

Formed in 1966, the Persuasions, at various times, comprised of:

Jerry Lawson (b. 23rd January 1944, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A. baritone/lead)

Jospeh Jesse 'Sweet Joe' Russell (b. 25th September 1939, Henderson, North Carolina, U.S.A., d. 5th May 2012, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. tenor)

Little Jayotis Washington (b. 12th May 1941, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. baritone/tenor)

Herbert 'Toubo' Rhoad (b. 1st October 1944, Bamberg, South Carolina, U.S.A., d. 8th December 1988 baritone)

Willie C. Daniels (tenor)

Raymond X. Sanders (tenor)

Bernard 'B.J.' Jones (baritone/bass)


Jimmy 'Bro' Hayes (b. 12th November 1943, Hopewell, Virginia, U.S.A. bass)

The Persuasions

The Persuasions are described as the 'Kings of Accapella'.

They have recorded doo wop, blues, gospel and pop songs, all with no sound other than their own voices.

When they first began getting together in Brooklyn back in 1962, they didn't even have a name.

The Persuasions were officially launched in 1966 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of New York City.

Having recorded for Minit, it was Frank Zappa who signed the vocal harmony group to his independent label Straight in 1969 and brought out their first album, a part live / part studio album , 'A Cappella', the next year.

The group have performed with everyone from Liza Minnelli to Country Joe McDonald, Joni Mitchell to the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

The Persuasions

During 1973-74, Willie C. Daniel replaced Jayotis Washington in the group.

They later recorded 'Street Corner Symphony' and 'Chirpin' and provided harmonies on Joni Mitchell's 'Shadows And Light' in 1980.

In 1988, Herbert Rhoad died, with the group reverting to a quartet.

Jesse 'Sweet Joe' Russell passed away on the 5th if May 2012, whilst waiting for a kidney transplant.

The Persuasions accapella harmonies are second to none.


The Persuasions can check Jerry Lawson's official website, right here...

Real Player


Accapella (Straight Records 1970)

We Came To Play (Capitol Records 1971)

Street Corner Symphony (Capitol Records 1972)

Spread The Word (Capitol Records 1972)

We Still Ain't Got No Band (MCA Records 1973)

More Than Before (A & M Records 1974)

I Just Wanna Sing With My Friends (A & M Records 1974)

Chirpin' (Elektra Records 1977)

Comin' At Ya (Flying Fish Records 1979)

Good News (Rounder Records 1983)

No Frills (Rounder Records 1986)

Stardust (Catamount Records 1987)

Right Around The Corner (Bullseye Records 1994)

Sincerely (Bullseye Records 1996)

You're All I Want For Christmas (Bullseye Records 1997)

On The Good Ship Lollipop (Music For Little People Records 1999)

Sunday Morning Soul ( Rounder Records 2000)

Frankly A Capella: The Persuasions Sing Zappa (Rhino Records 2000)

Might As Well...The Persuasions Sing The Grateful Dead (Arista Records 2000)

The Persuasions Sing The Beatles (Chesky Records 2002)

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