"Flash Back Friday: Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis"
If you ever listened to The Time, Janet Jackson, Yolanda Adams, Mary J. Blige or Chaka Khan, then you'll probably already a fan of these two gentlemen. Products of middle America -- Minnesota to be exact -- Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have plenty of Grammy awards and innumerable number one songs. From Janet's "Alright" to Mary J. Blige's "No More Drama," these two in their signature hats keep the hits coming which is why during Black Music Month, we celebrate the dynamic duo that is Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
Super Producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis met in high school in Minneapolis and formed a band called Flyte Tyme, which evolved into the Time. In 1981, Morris Day joined and the trio toured with Prince as his opening act. As members of The Time, they recorded three of the group’s four albums, including “The Time,” “What Time Is It?” and “Pandemonium.” The first two albums are said to have shaped early ’80s R&B music and prepared the duo for groups like The Deele and their most popular collaborator, Janet Jackson.
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis produced for numerous groups including ’80’s R&B group The Deele, which boasted Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds and Jimmy Jam as members. You could not have told us that the guy on the right would go on to release hip-hop artists like Outkast.
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis also went on to shape most of the R&B that made house parties in the 1980s and 1990s swing. The gents even conquered gospel by producing Yolanda Adams’ 1999 crossover hit, “Open My Heart.”
In 2001, the producers shared some of the spotlight during MTV’s ICON celebration of Janet Jackson.
Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect
In 2002, the duo was honored at the 44th Grammy Awards with the prize for Best Dance Recording of the year for Janet Jackson’s “All For You.”
Photo by Kevin Winter
In the late 2000s, the pair worked with Mary J. Blige and produced her emotional single “No More Drama.” Here, MJB is congratulated by Lewis and Jam after receiving the ASCAP Voice of Music Award at the 20th Anniversary ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards in 2007.