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Friday, August 22, 2008

It's a Shame

Pervis Jackson just died of cancer at the Detroit Sinai Hospital at 70. He is survived by two sons, Pervis Jackson Jr. and Herbert Briscoe; two daughters, Cindy Holmes and Stephanie Jackson; and eight grandchildren.

Pervis Jackson, remember him? He was one of the four lead singers of The Spinners (That's him on the left in the photo above). This is the R&B group that made 12 gold hits in the 70’s that went to both the R&B and pop charts: “The game people play,“ The rubber band man,” “I’ll be around,” “Could it be I’m falling in love,” “It’s a shame,” among others.

The group had four lead singers: Charlton Washington, Bobbie Smith, Henry Fambrough. Pervis Jackson and Harold "Spike" DeLeon. In my opinion, Jackson was the guy with the rich, low voice that gave The Spinners their distinctive, harmonic sound on stage and and kept the group together off-stage.

Here’s what some had to say:

"{It's a shame}Great song, one of the greatest in the history of Soul music. Featuring some cold blooded lyrics by Stevie Wonder about being cheated on (by Syreeta?} and some really funky guitar licks by Marv Tarplin (I think?), with some GREAT harmonies by the Spinners. Even today "It's a Shame", still sounds fresh & funky. It's the equal to any of the great songs by the Temptations and I can listen to this song over and over again, morning noon & night...”
--Bob Davis, of Soul Patrol.

“What Pervis brought was something nobody else could have brought. It’s going to be hard to find someone who can do what Pervis did…Every Motown group tried to have its own sound to stand out. Pervis was a big part of that for the Spinners. If you listen to his parts, you hear how well his voice carried, how unique it was, without being overbearing.”
--Michael Fuqua, son of Harvey, Record Executive

Jackson's is the second loss this year in the Spinners’ extended family. Long-time manager Buddy Allen died at his home in March. His son, Steve, worked as the group’s road manager for many years. Here's what he had to say about Jackson:

“Pervis was the classiest, nicest, most perfect gentleman. He never let the fame and the glory years go to his head.”

He was a unique talent, and he was even more of a unique person, class and professionalism from the heart; and, as Davis of Soul Patrol put it, it's a shame to see him go.

Services will be on Monday. Details of the funeral arrangement will be released later this week by Swanson Funeral Home in Detroit.

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