Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis

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Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis

James Samuel "Jimmy Jam" Harris III (born June 6, 1959 in Minneapolis, Minnesota) and Terry Steven Lewis (born November 24, 1956 in Omaha, Nebraska) are an American R&B and pop-music songwriting and record production team.[1] They have enjoyed great success since the 1980s with various artists, most notably Janet Jackson.


Jimmy is the son of Cornbread Harris, a Minneapolis blues and jazz musician. Jimmy met Terry in high school in Minneapolis and 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 & Terry Lewis were introduced to Music Executive Dina R. Andrews who was then a key employee of Dick Griffey's Solar Records (The Whispers, Shalamar, Lakeside (band), Klymaxx, The Deele, Babyface). The pair asked Andrews to manage them, and through her relationships Andrews first introduced Jam and Lewis to Music Executive Clarance 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, Warner Chappelle (Rachele Fields), and many others.

The pair was fired by Prince from a tour because a blizzard left them unable to rejoin after 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 big hit and sealed the duo’s reputation, as well as that of the SOS Band. The duo would rejoin The Time for one album only, 1990’s Pandemonium.

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 TLC, The 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, Morrison Slick (an unreleased cut, slated to appear on Morrison Slick's Flyte Tyme Records debut Kiss Da Sky came out on little known UK compilation Soul & The City[2] ) and The Human League. In 1999, they produced the major 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 [1].

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 new CD, Love Is.

To date, Jam and Lewis has produced 16 Hot 100 #1 singles:

A documentary called Flyte Tyme was made recently, which focuses on their label and them.


Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are working with the Jacksons on their 40th Anniversary Album, as seen on The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty


  1. ^ Savage, Mark (27 May 2005). "The Hitmakers: Jam and Lewis". BBC. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  2. ^ Soul Jones Presents/Expansion Records: Script error: No such module "Vorlage:Internetquelle". In: Script error: No such module "Vorlage:Internetquelle". Abgerufen am 14. Mai 2007.Vorlage:Cite web/temporär

External links[edit]

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