Jerry Jacksons Biography
My Spiritual Journey
Jerry Jackson, a recording artist formerly with Columbia Records and other major labels is now singing inspirational spiritual folk music featuring his own divinely inspired compositions as well as songs by other composers. Jerry’s past recordings were of a soul/popular nature, and included such numbers as “Shrimp Boats Are A’Comin”, “A Chance to Prove My Love”, “Time”, “Tell Her Johnny Said Goodbye”, “Turn Back”, and many others.
Jerry was born in the Northeastern USA and raised in a large, talented family consisting of six sisters and six brothers. His dad was an evangelist preacher who traveled extensively throughout the South, while his mother, a missionary, provided excellent mentoring to their children at home. They had migrated from the south with their first three children several years before Jerry was born and had raised them all under strict biblical principles.
Jerry was born several years after his mom and dad settled in the northeast, and in his youth, even in his preteen years, he was very enterprising. In addition to shining shoes, selling cut flowers and roasted peanuts, he often sang impromptu at various venues such as restaurants, grills, and even on the streets, earning money to help support the family. He usually did this by simply appearing, uninvited, and just bursting into song. Most of the time he was well received. However due to his young age there were times when he was rejected and other times even ejected. But Jerry was so passionate about his singing that he never allowed these challenges to discourage him. Through support within his talented family, he gained experience and recognition at an early age when his siblings formed a gospel group and chose Jerry to lead many of the songs.
Jerry’s parents really wanted all of their children to embrace a Christian life and become active church members. However, Jerry had little interest in church activities at that time and dreamed of a musical career as a recording artist. So he continued to seek opportunities to perform in various cities and towns in his home state as well as the tri-state area. When he was a little older, his desire to sing professionally led him to hitchhike with a buddy to Cleveland, Ohio; and while there, he recorded a demo consisting of two songs. Eventually, he would use this recording to introduce himself as a singer/songwriter in New York, City. During his mid-teens, through a generous benefactor, who recognized his talents, Jerry was given the opportunity to attend a music school and receive voice training.
In his early teens, through the assistance and mentoring of his older brother John, Jerry got involved in the car servicing business, first by learning auto detailing and later auto repair. Some of the money he earned with these skills was later used to fund the launch of his recording career. Looking back, Jerry realizes that this is about the time he observed that God had always intervened in his life and clearly tried to get his attention even though he was not willing to surrender during those years. By now he had already begun making trips to New York City seeking opportunities to audition for whoever was willing to listen.
After canvassing several music agencies, Jerry finally made connections with Buddy Kaye, who would ultimately become his manager. Buddy Kaye was the founder of Budd Music and the writer of several earlier hit songs recorded by Perry Como, Pat Boone, and several other vocalists. The contractual agreement between Buddy and Jerry included a promise to acquire a recording contract for Jerry within six months.
A short while later, through Buddy’s efforts, Jerry found himself under contract with Top Rank Records, an English Film Company with recording facilities in New York City. The initial sales of his debut recording, “A Chance to Prove My Love”, a song he had written himself, were going quite well. However, due to what appeared to be inadequate promotional efforts, sales gradually diminished, and a potential hit did not come to fruition. It was during his contract period with Top Rank Records that Jerry married, and he and his wife had their first daughter whom they named Syndi Marie.
A number of months later Buddy Kaye and songwriter/arranger Phil Springer teamed up and wrote two wonderful songs. The first was “Time” and the second “Se Habla Espanol”. It was their concerted, zealous efforts that brought about the beautiful arrangements of these songs and the opportunity for Jerry to record them. Jerry’s wonderful, unique vocal interpretations of these songs combined with these arrangements resulted in two superbly beautiful recordings. With these great recordings in hand, they approached Kapp Records in New York City, which at that time had signed such great artists as Louis Armstrong, the extraordinary trumpet player, Roger Williams, the piano virtuoso and other artists. Kapp’s staff became very excited upon hearing Jerry’s performance of “Time” and “Se Habla Espanol”. As a result of their interest, an immediate contract was negotiated and soon consummated to release and promote these songs on the Kapp Records Label.
Upon release, the recordings received almost immediate public acceptance and approval. The sales pattern was going very well, and all indications were that these recordings would become chart toppers. In the meantime, Jerry returned to the studio to record two additional Buddy Kaye and Phil Springer songs entitled “I Don’t Play Games and “You Might Be There With Him”. Looking back, it appears that upon the release of these new songs, the promotion which had been given to “Time” and “Se Habla Espanol” was shifted to the newer recordings. This resulted in inadequate time to properly promote the former two. As a result there was a decline in the sales of “Time” and “Se Habla Espanol” recordings that seemingly had been on their way to “hitsville”.
As Jerry continued in his recording career, he eventually signed a contract with Columbia Records in New York City where he was produced by Clyde Otis who had previously produced such artists as Dinah Washington, Brook Benton, and Nat King Cole. While at Columbia, Jerry recorded several songs including one of his own compositions entitled “Are You Glad When We’re Apart?”, which registered at number 2 on the charts in England for a period of time. He also recorded several songs recommended by Clyde Otis while there, including: Shrimp Boats Are A’Comin”, “Blues in The Night”, “You’re Mine and I Love You”, etc. The same bewildering and frustrating rise and sudden fall of Jerry’s recording career continued.
A number of months later, Jerry Jackson signed a contract with Cameo Parkway Records in Philadelphia, where this same insidious pattern of potential hits not coming to fruition seemed to persist. It was undeniable that Jerry had an unusually beautiful voice and was very gifted with the styling and delivery required for various types of songs. These great talents are why so many different recording companies were compelled to sign contracts with hm. As soon as they heard him sing, they were so impressed that they knew he had what it takes to be a hit-making artist. Various promoters, agents and fans all felt the same way upon hearing Jerry sing, and he was highly admired by fellow artists as well. So, why was there no meteoric rise on the charts? Why no lasting interest n his recordings resulting in a super “hit”? One has to wonder was it lack of adequate promotion? Was it timing? Over the years, Jerry has asked himself these question many times. As this pattern continued, at first he was surprised then disappointed and bewildered, especially as he observed how many other artists, even those of lesser talent, rose to the top of the charts. It was many years later that he realized that for him this type of worldly success in this arena was never meant to be.
In retrospect, Jerry has come to a profound conclusion that this pattern was the result of a spiritual, supernatural, intervention in his life. He recognizes that this intervention had begun many years earlier, even in his early childhood, when God had been dealing with him through the guidance and influence of his parents. He also acknowledges that he had rebelliously rejected the life style and music God had chosen for him, which brings us to this current chapter in his journey.
By this time, Jerry and his wife, Barbara (Lois), had been blessed with another beautiful daughter whom they named Patti Renai. A number of years later, When his daughter Patti was seven and daughter Syndi was about 14, they sang together for a short period as the “New Movement Gospel”. The Trio recorded two songs titled: “Wake Me Shake Me” and “Bless Your Love Over Me”. This record sold fairly well, but there remained a missing ingredient in Jerry’s life.
Several months later Jerry, his wife and their two daughters relocated to Florida where they had previously purchased land in the Tampa Bay area. For the first couple of years their marriage relationship went smoothly, but soon after things became very rocky and ultimately they were divorced. Less than two years afterward, their eldest daughter Syndi Marie, got married. During the wedding ceremony, Jerry and his younger daughter Patti Renai, sang several songs as a duet; and their performance was so very well received that they soon formed a serious father/daughter duo that went on to perform on TV, radio, at churches, and other venues. Older daughter Syndi and her husband eventually had a daughter and son.
During that same period, according to Jerry’s testimony, through the shocking effect of the divorce and the breakup of his family, God got Jerry’s attention, and he fully surrendered his life unconditionally. Before Jerry surrendered his life to God, he was often puzzled and tortured by the disappointment of not achieving world-wide fame as a popular vocalist while under contract with Columbia and other recording companies. True stardom had been so seemingly elusive, and the quest so frustrating. But now Jerry felt a deep peace like never before as the Lord revealed His far superior plan for Jerry’s life; and fame in that worldly arena had nothing to do with God’s plan. Now Jerry’s songwriting talents flourished as never before as he composed song after song of praise to the Lord. Jerry testifies with these words: “Lord, I’ll love you as long as I live; I’ll live for you as long as I live; I’ll sing for you as long as I live, even forever.”
Eventually, Patti Renai was married, and she and her husband became the parents of a daughter and then a son. During this same period, Jerry was led by the Holy Spirit to establish “JJJ Bible Way Ministries”, a federally approved non-profit 501© 3 organization, incorporated in the State of Florida. This ministry was established for the purpose of distributing both natural and spiritual food through music, the singing and the sharing of God’s word, as well as by giving away food to needy families. By planting a variety of vegetables in the fields of its headquarters, combining those with fruits and vegetables donated by other farmers, and distributing them completely free of charge, J.J.J. Bible Way Ministries provides a valuable service to the needy.
Over time, with God’s divine blessing, Jerry’s spiritually stirring and uplifting music ministry has evolved to become even more dynamic and appealing. Jerry has amazing testimonies of God’s blessings, including the preservation of his voice, the healing of his body, and other evidences to share with all people. With Jerry’s God-given talents as a vocalist, his beautiful, divinely inspired songs of praise, and his love for mankind this ministry is ready to reach beyond the bounds of Florida and spread God’s message of hope and encouragement to the world’s yearning masses waiting eagerly to receive it. Jerry believes the Lord has blessed him to establish and ultimately leave a legacy through his music ministry.
Jerry is now offering an introductory CD titled “My Spiritual Journey, Part 1” (Introductory Abbreviated Version) for release on www.cdbaby.com for digital downloads. The full version shall be released in the near future as a regular CD. Jerry is also in the process of constructing his own website, which should be up and running in the near future. Currently you can hear some of his professional recordings from yesteryear when he was under contract to Columbia and various other recording companies on YouTube.com by typing in Jerry Jackson Shrimp Boats and also at BarnesandNoble.com by typing in Jerry Jackson Shrimp Boats in the Search Bar.
Jerry is available to perform at concerts and to make personal appearances. Please Contact Jerry through his e-mail address: email@example.com All inquiries shall be answered.