P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2001
November 3, 2000
The Persuasions to Cap Off MASS MoCA's Free Community Day on December 2
The Persuasions, Jerry Lawson, Jimmy Hayes, "Sweet Joe" Russell, Jayotis Washington, Bernard "BJ" Jones, and Raymond Sanders started in the early '60s when a group of transplanted southerners living in Brooklyn fell into the time-honored New York pastime of sitting outside on warm nights, singing on the stoop.
Their music has been difficult to label from the beginning. Usually categorized as R&B or gospel, they have repeatedly jumped those fences with tunes like The Partridge Family's I Woke Up In Love This Morning and a recent children's recording of The Good Ship Lollipop. From the Lord's Prayer to Elvis Presley, from the Temptations to the Beatles, they sing every type of music. Long-time friend Tom Waits has said of the group, "These guys are deep sea divers. I'm just a fisherman in a boat." Rock critic Greil Marcus has called their style a "perfect marriage of passion and intelligence."
The Persuasions are a true transition group, primarily responsible for the evolution of a cappella harmony singing into what it is today. Their influence is evident in groups like Take 6, Boyz II Men, ColorMeBadd, and performers like Bobby McFerrin.
Their 1999 children's album On the Good Ship Lollipop has earned numerous industry-related awards and was Amazon.com's number one pick for children's music. Amazon also named them Artists of the Year in 1999. Their most recent endeavor is a recording of a cappella versions of Grateful Dead classics entitled Might As Well: The Persuasions Sing Grateful Dead.
After 38 years, The Persuasions' motto remains intact; "We still ain't got no band."
Tickets to the Persuasions concert are $6 for adults. Kids are admitted free, but they must have a reserved seat. Tickets are available by calling the MASS MoCA Box Office at 413.662.2111 or online at www.massmoca.org. Tickets may also be purchased in person from 11-5 Wednesday through Monday at MASS MoCA at 87 Marshall St. in North Adams, Mass.
The grant for free community day is made by the American Express Company on behalf of: American Express Travel Related Services Co, Inc.: American Express Financial Advisors Inc.; and the American Express Bank Ltd.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located on Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release