Today in Soul Music History (March 28): World, meet Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis

Share this article

    March 28, 1983 – "Just Be Good To Me" becomes Jam & Lewis's first hit production

    They are one of the greatest writing and production teams in soul music history, and all that greatness came together on the day they were fired by Prince.

    Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis first hit the national music scene as members of the band The Time, but with mentor Prince dominating the group’s albums, Jam and Lewis worked on flexing their musical muscles by providing production help to other artists. Jam, a keyboards whiz, and Lewis, a bass player, were mentored as producers by the great Leon Sylvers. But it was the “Black Godfather,” music executive Clarence Avant, who teamed them with an up-and-coming act called the SOS Band.

    March 28, 1983 – "Just Be Good To Me" becomes Jam & Lewis's first hit production

    They are one of the greatest writing and production teams in soul music history, and all that greatness came together on the day they were fired by Prince.

    Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis first hit the national music scene as members of the band The Time, but with mentor Prince dominating the group’s albums, Jam and Lewis worked on flexing their musical muscles by providing production help to other artists. Jam, a keyboards whiz, and Lewis, a bass player, were mentored as producers by the great Leon Sylvers. But it was the “Black Godfather,” music executive Clarence Avant, who teamed them with an up-and-coming act called the SOS Band.

    The pairing of Jam & Lewis with SOS spelled the end of the duo’s membership in The Time (Prince fired them for working outside of the band), and the beginning of their ascendancy as perhaps the most lauded R&B production team of the 1980s. And the result of that pairing, the smash hit “Just Be Good To Me,” came out on this date in 1983. The song shot all the way to #2 on the charts, and quickly established Jam & Lewis as a team to watch.

    "Just Be Good To Me" would be the first of over 40 top 10 hits produced by Jam & Lewis for such acts as Alexander O’Neal, Cherelle, Human League, Herb Alpert, Cheryl Lynn, Sounds of Blackness and particularly Janet Jackson.

    So today let’s celebrate Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and listen to the song that started it all.

     
    Choice Cut - Brother Reggie - "Love Song"
    Choice Cut - KEA - "Turn It Around"