Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis

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Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
Jimmy Jam in January 2012
Terry Lewis in January 2012
Birth name James Harris III and Terry Lewis (respectively)
Also known as Jam & Lewis, Jimmy & Terry
Origin Minneapolis, Minnesota
Genres R&B, pop, soul, hip hop, new jack swing, gospel
Occupation(s) Songwriters, Musicians, Producers
Instruments Keyboards, Synthesizers, Drum machine (Jimmy Jam)
Bass guitar, Percussion (Terry Lewis)
Years active 1982–present
Labels Tabu, Perspective, Flyte Tyme
Associated acts The Time, Prince, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, The SOS Band, Cherrelle, Usher, Boyz II Men, Jordan Knight, Yolanda Adams, George Michael, Solo Alexander O'Neal, Mariah Carey, Hikaru Utada, Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, New Edition, Captain Rapp, Karyn White, IU, Jyongri, The Human League
Notable instruments
Roland TR-808
Oberheim OB-8
Yamaha DX-7
Ensoniq Mirage

James Samuel "Jimmy Jam" Harris III (born June 6, 1959) and Terry Steven Lewis (born November 24, 1956) are an American R&B songwriting and record production team.[1] They have enjoyed great success since the 1980s with various artists, most notably Janet Jackson. By popular vote, the duo was inducted into The SoulMusic Hall of Fame at SoulMusic.com in December 2012.[2] They have written 31 top ten hits in the UK and 41 in the USA.[3]

History[edit]

Jimmy Jam is the son of Cornbread Harris, a Minneapolis blues and jazz musician. Jimmy Jam met Lewis while in high school in Minneapolis. They did not meet in class, however, but while attending a TRIO Upward Bound program on the University of Minnesota campus. They formed a band called Flyte Tyme, which evolved into the Time. In 1981, they were joined by Morris Day and toured with Prince as his opening act. As members of The Time, they recorded three of the group's four albums (The Time, What Time Is It? and Pandemonium). The first two albums are said to have shaped early 1980s R&B music[attribution needed] (featuring "Cool," "Get It Up," "The Walk," "777-9311," and "Gigolos Get Lonely Too").

In 1982, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were introduced to the music executive Dina R. Andrews, who was then an employee of Dick Griffey's Solar Records (The Whispers, Shalamar, Lakeside, Klymaxx, The Deele, Babyface). The pair asked Andrews to manage them, and through her relationships Andrews first introduced Jam and Lewis to Music Executive Clarence Avant. They produced their first masters for Avant for the SOS Band. Andrews set-up Jam and Lewis's company Flyte Tyme Productions as a business entity, and continued shopping them to her other record executive colleagues. The producers went on to produce several other masters for Avant under Dina Andrews Management for the SOS Band, Cherrelle, Alexander O'Neal and Change. Additionally, Andrews shopped the duo to many of the executives and artists who used their services, such as Klymaxx, Cheryl Lynn ("Encore"), and executives such as John McClain (Janet Jackson), Clive Davis, Sylvia Rhone, and Warner Chappelle (Rachele Fields).

The pair was fired by Prince from a tour after a blizzard left them unable to rejoin during a short break to produce music for The SOS Band. However, one of the tracks they were producing, "Just Be Good to Me", became a hit and sealed the duo's reputation, as well as that of the SOS Band. The duo would rejoin The Time for two albums: 1990's Pandemonium and the 2011 album Condensate under the name the Original 7ven.

The duo was noted for early use of the Roland TR-808 drum machine in English-language popular music, which was used in most of its productions. After working with other artists such as Cherrelle and Alexander O'Neal, Jam and Lewis were introduced to Janet Jackson and produced her breakthrough album Control in 1986, for which the duo won a Grammy Award. Their collaboration on her next album, 1989's Rhythm Nation 1814, proved even more successful as the album became one of the top-selling albums in history with five No. 1 hits.

Since that time, they founded a record label, Perspective Records (an A&M/PolyGram Records-distributed label that has since shut its doors), and worked with artists including Herb Alpert, TLC, Sounds of Blackness, Yolanda Adams, Jordan Knight, Michael Jackson, Boyz II Men, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Prince, Spice Girls, Vanessa Williams, George Michael, Melanie B, Rod Stewart, Kelly Price, Gwen Stefani, New Edition, Eric Benet, Pia Zadora, Solo, and The Human League. In 1999, they produced the hit "Open My Heart" by Yolanda Adams which helped her popularity. In 2000, the two were guest performers for J-pop singer and songwriter Hikaru Utada's 'Bohemian Summer' concert tour in Japan.

Terry Lewis married R&B singer Karyn White, with whom he had a daughter, Ashley Nicole Lewis. The pair has since divorced. He later married Indira Singh and had two children, Talin and Tierra. Jimmy Jam served as chairman of the board of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He is currently listed as chairman Emeritus.

In 2005 Jam and Lewis opened their new recording studios in Santa Monica, California naming it Flyte Tyme West. In 2006, they won a Grammy for Yolanda Adams' song "Be Blessed", from her 2005 album Day By Day. In 2007, Jam and Lewis produced the two-time Grammy Award winning CD Funk This for Chaka Khan, which included the Award winning R&B duet "Disrespectful", with Mary J. Blige.

The production duo recently reunited with The Time at The 50th Grammy Awards on February 10, 2008 in a medley that included the artist Rihanna, and featuring "Jungle Love". In June and July 2008, all of the original members of The Time (Morris Day, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Jesse Johnson, Jerome Benton, Jellybean Johnson, and Monte Moir) reunited once again for a series of shows at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Jam and Lewis worked on Ruben Studdard's album, Love Is.

Discography[edit]

Charts[edit]

Jam & Lewis have more Billboard Number Ones than any other songwriting and production team in history.[4] They have produced 16 Billboard Hot 100 #1 hits, and 26 Billboard R&B #1 hits.[5]

They are among a handful of producers to have number #1 records in three consecutive decades, with number ones in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s [6][7]

They have had 41 songs reach the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100,[8] and 31 in the Top 10 in the UK.[9]

Billboard Hot 100 #1s[edit]

Awards[edit]

Since forming their music company Flyte Tyme in 1982, Jam & Lewis have earned more than 100 gold, platinum, multi-platinum and diamond albums for their work with such artists as Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Boyz II Men, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Luther Vandross, Yolanda Adams, Herb Alpert, New Edition, Human League, George Michael, Earth, Wind and Fire, TLC, Robert Palmer, Gwen Stefani and Kanye West.[10] They have more than 100 ASCAP songwriting and publishing awards,[11] including several Songwriter of the Year awards.[12]

In 1993, Jam & Lewis were nominated with Janet Jackson for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Again", from the movie, Poetic Justice.

Grammy Awards[edit]

Jam & Lewis have won five Grammy Awards. They have received the most nominations for Producer of the Year, with 11 nominations.[13] They won the award in 1987 at the 29th Grammy Awards, in the very first year they were nominated.

Year Recipient Award Result
1987 Control Album Of The Year Nominated
"What Have You Done For Me Lately" Best R&B Song Nominated
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical Won
1990 Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals Nominated
"Miss You Much" Best R&B Song Nominated
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical Nominated
1991 "Alright" Best R&B Song Nominated
1994 "That's The Way Love Goes" Best R&B Song Won
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical Nominated
1995 Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical Nominated
1996 HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I Album Of The Year Nominated
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical Nominated
2001 Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical Nominated
2002 All For You Best Pop Vocal Album Nominated
"All For You" Best Dance Recording Won
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical Nominated
2003 Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical Nominated
2004 Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical Nominated
2005 Confessions Album Of The Year Nominated
Damita Jo Best Contemporary R&B Album Nominated
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical Nominated
2006 Love. Angel. Music. Baby. Album Of The Year Nominated
"Be Blessed" Best Gospel Song Won
Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical Nominated
2007 20 Y.O. Best Contemporary R&B Album Nominated
2008 Funk This Best R&B Album Won

References[edit]

External links[edit]