Don Julian (musician)

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Don Julian (April 7, 1937 – November 6, 1998)[1] was an American rhythm and blues,[2] funk and soul singer, guitarist and songwriter. Most famous for his work as an R&B singer in the 1950s and 1960s, he's also known for composing the soundtrack and songs to the (so-called) blaxploitation film, Savage!.[3][4]


Born Donald R. Julian in Houston, Texas, United States, in his teens he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he began performing with local bands.[5]

He performed both solo and with backing bands. His most famous backing group was "The Meadowlarks" (later named The Larks (Los Angeles Band)), although most of his film music was performed with instrumental funk bands.[6] The Meadowlarks is considered the first integrated doo-wop group.[5] In 1954, Don Julian and the Meadowlarks' debut single "Heaven and Paradise", became popular with R&B fans.[7] In 1964, the single, "The Jerk" was released under the band name, The Larks. The single, released on the Money label, was Julian's only chart hit. It went to number one on the Cash Box R&B chart and peaked at number seven on the Billboard R&B chart.[8]

Julian recorded several solo albums for a variety of record labels in the 1970s.[7]

Julian died in November 1998 from pneumonia, aged 61.[1]


Solo (incomplete)[edit]

  • Savage! (1973) (soundtrack to the film Savage!)

With the Meadowlarks or the Larks[edit]

  • Heaven and Paradise (1955)
  • The Jerk (1964)
  • Shorty the Pimp (1973) (soundtrack to limited release film starring the band)[7]
  • Golden Classics (1990)


A song from the album Savage!, entitled "Janitizo" was sampled by Warren G, on his song "And Ya Don't Stop" from his debut album, Regulate...G Funk Era.[citation needed]/ Title track "Shorty the Pimp" was sampled by Too Short as the intro for his 1992 Shorty the Pimp LP.


  1. ^ a b - accessed September 2011
  2. ^ Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 1-904041-96-5.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Archived January 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c "Biography by Bryan Thomas". Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 340.