Harmony Close to Home

Harmony Close to Home
That guy sure looks familiar . . . .

The Kennedy Center’s A Cappella Festival continues today with the Paschall Brothers Gospel Quartet of Norfolk, Virginia and the “Kings of A Cappella,” the legendary Persuasions (formed 1962). Get over to the Grand Foyer of the KenCen by 6 PM (it’s free).

The Kennedy Center neglected to print the name of the newest Persuasion, a member since 2005 — Washington, DC’s Reginald¬† (“Reggie”) Moore, an amazing baritone. He would have to be to join Joe Russell, Ray Sanders, Jayotis Washington, and Jimmy Hayes, the Persuasions.

Concert Information

Information on the Persuasions

Information on the Paschall Brothers

Stuck at work tonight? Listen live here at 6 PM.

7 Responses to “Harmony Close to Home”

  1. Julie Lawson Says:

    The Persuasions: Are they or aren’t they?

    There are only 4 of the 5 original Persuasions alive. Jayotis Washington, Jimmy Hayes, Joe Russell & Jerry Lawson. Only 3 of those 4 are still touring as “The Persuasions” Guess who is missing? Their front man. One of the greatest lead singers of all time. The extraordinarily talented Jerry Lawson who created the signature sound that Persuasions fans have loved through 40 years & 23 albums. The sound that fans would expect when purchasing a ticket to any show advertised as “The Persuasions”

    The 3 original members continue to tour along with a couple of new guys to try in fill in the sound. But the Jerry Lawson sound, showmanship & star quality cannot be replaced. It would be like removing Gladys Knight from the Pips or Diana Ross from The Supremes, Ray from the Raylettes, Sam Cooke from the Soul Stirrers.. Those signature lead voices cannot be substituted.

    I think it’s very generous of Jerry Lawson to allow his former group members to carry on using the reputation that he created for them. In fact Jerry told me ‘God Bless them, they need to make a living some kind of way” Well yes, they do.

    If they hadn’t been ripped off on all their royalties by all the labels they were with including Rounder Records & Capitol, they could have retired when Lawson left. Could have gone out at the top with their legacy in tact. They could have been living comfortably.

    After 40 years of shlepping luggage all over the world & bringing joy to so many, they are approaching 70 years old, still living in Bed Stuy & don’t seem to have any choice but to carry on despite tarnishing their reputation & disappointing the fans. Not to mention how damn sad it is to hear what has become of the voices. The whole situation is just so sad.

    I wish we could have a global fundraiser for them so they could sit back, relax & know that the rent & utilities would be paid & there would be enough food on the table. They could retire.

    But here’s the rub..the guys need to make a living. They don’t have a choice. They’ll never see the royalties due them. It costs a fortune to hire an attorney to audit the labels.

    But where is the integrity when it comes to the fans? There has been very little publicity, almost none, about Lawson leaving the group. Fans are still purchasing tickets to “Persuasions” shows & have no idea what they are in for. How fair is it to the fans who spent $20 to $50 per ticket?

    Some of you may wonder why I would share this especially when so few Persuasion fans will ever intersect with it. How does this info serve anyone? It’s about the truth verses deception. I don’t want the remaining Persuasions to suffer but I don’t want the fans being ripped off either. What is the solution? I’m not sure. But don’t the fans have a right to know what they are paying for?

    The folks in the press have no idea what they are talking about each time they present a “Persuasions” review because they never knew The Persuasions legacy to begin with. If they did they would know that the key ingredient to The Persuasions is missing. That the Persuasions sound that we love so dearly is gone for good only to be heard on the albums prior to Lawson leaving.

    But the press simply scours the internet, gathers what they can about the group’s history, never knowing the authenticity of that source & then spits it back out & still never mentions that the Persuasions you have come to love are really no more.

    Somebody in the press might want to contact Jerry Lawson & get the scoop from the source as journalists in the old days did. It’s pretty easy to find him thanks to the internet.

    Julie Lawson

  2. Mike Licht Says:


    Today’s concert is free to the public.

    We’ll listen and review the performance here. I should tell you that I have heard one of the “new guys,” Reggie Moore, sing with several harmony and gospel groups here in Washington and he is amazing.

    Jerry Lawson’s web site says he withdrew from the Persuasions to work with an instrumental ensemble. I look forward to hearing his new recording projects. Please let me know if he is performing in the DC area.

    If the Persuasions or any other R&B artists have issues regarding royalties, I strongly suggest contacting the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. They have assisted many artists with such legal issues.

  3. anthony johnson Says:

    What is wrong with this person?

  4. anthony johnson Says:

    Its a sick thing to go on the internet and run people down like that…especially after Mr. Lawson VOLUNTARY left the group…I’m going to the show.

  5. Mike Licht Says:

    Anthony: Julie has a valid point that group membership has changed (Herbert Rhodes, another original Persuasion, passed away in 1988).

    I image Ms. Lawson is kin to Jerry Lawson, and this accounts for her strong feelings and the length of her comment.

  6. Mike Licht Says:

    I’ve just been up on Jerry Lawson’s web site, and I reccommend it. It turns out Mr. Lawson has started another a cappella group: Jerry Lawson & Talk of The Town. They sound great!

    Can there be too much good music in the world?

  7. anthony johnson Says:

    thanks Mike, still seems like a lot of sour grapes to me. No one is questioning Lawson’s greatness, it just seems like a mean-spirited rant on senior citizens!

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