Band members Related acts
- Don Julian (RIP 1998) - vocals (1965-)
- Charles Morrison - vocals (1965-)
- Ted Walters -
- The Meadowlarks (Don Julian)
Rating: ** (2 stars)
Title: The Jerk
Country/State: Los Angeles, California
Grade (cover/record): VG/VG
Comments: vinyl shows quite a few minor scratches, but plays with no problems and virtually no noise.
GEMM catalog ID: 4673
Vocalist Don Julian's professional musical roots trace back to the early 1950s when he fronted The Meadowlarks. By the early-1960s The Meadowlarks were history and Julian was trying to make a go of it as a solo act.
If you believe the hype, Julian saw a bunch of young kids dancing and was inspired to write a song entitled 'The Jerk'. Confident that it had hit potential, he recruited Charles Morrison and Ted Walters to record the song. As The Larks the trio were quickly signed by John Dolphin's L.A.-based Money Records. Released as a single 'The Jerk' b/w 'Forget Me' (Money catalog number 106) promptly went top-10. As was standard marketing procedure, Money rushed the group back in the studio to record a supporting album.
Produced by A.C. Scott, 1965's cleverly titled "The Jerk" certainly had potential. On the title track and other selections Julian and company bore a strong resemblance to Curtis Mayfield and the Impression (in fact the one non-original was a cover of Mayfield's 'You Must Believe Me'). What ultimately kills the album is the lack of diversity. Clearly recorded under time constrains, with the exception of 'Slauson Shuffle' which had previously been recorded for Rudy Harvey's Dynamite Records, virtually every one of these tracks sounds similar ... jerk this and jerk that. In fact, the title track is represented twice ('Jerk Once More' is an almost note-for-note copy of the original). In isolation nearly all of them are actually pretty good ('Keep Jerkin''), but stacked together it gets pretty old quickly. That didn't stop Money from trying to strike lightning twice. Unfortunately follow-on singles went nowhere:
1965's 'Mickey's East Coast Jerk' b/w 'Slauson Shuffle' (Money catalog number 110)
1965's 'Soul Jerk' b/w 'Mickey's East Coast Jerk' (Money catalog number )
1.) The Jerk (Don Julian) - 2:30
2.) Keep Jerkin' (Ted Walters - Don Julian) - 1:50
3.) Mickey's East Coast Jerk (Don Julian) - 2:40
4.) Do the Jerk (Don Julian) - 2:45
5.) Jerkin' USA (Don Julian) - 2:45
2.) You Must Believe Me (Curtis Mayfield) - 2:40
3.) Jerk Once More (Don Julian) - 2:30
4.) Slauson Shuffle 1 (instumental) (Don Julian) - 2:30
5.) Slauson Shuffle 2 (Don Julian) - 2:30
Julian continued to write and perform throughout the 1970s and 1980s. He wrote and recorded the soundtracks for several films including the Motown financed blaxploitation flicks "Savage" and "Shorty the Pimp" (the latter was shelved until the 1990s). Julian died in 1998.
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