Legendary R&B Producers: Jimmy Jam + Terry Lewis

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are famed R’n’B  songwriters and producers who are most notable for producing all of Janet Jackson’s hits throughout the Eighties, Nineties, and 2000’s.

As well as producing hits for other artists such as the Human League, Michael Jackson, Boyz 2 Men, New Edition, Karyn White, Luther Vandross, and Alexander O Neal.

They are also known for never being seen in public without their black thick rimmed sunglasses.

Jimmy and Lewis were both born James Samuel Edwards the Third (in 1959) and Terry Steven Lewis (in 1956).

Jam originally came from Minneapolis, USA and Lewis from Omaha, USA.

Jam (who’s father was a jazz musician) first met Lewis when they were at school together in Minneapolis.

Whist attending University there they formed their first group “Flyte Time” which would eventually become “The Time” with Morris Day.

The group would later work with and tour with Prince.

In 1982, the pair were introduced to record executive Dina R Andrews of SOLAR Records.

During their time at the label, they would go on to learn record production techniques and produce their first hit song “Just Be Good to Me”  for the group The SOS Band.

They also created their own record company called Flyte Time Productions.

In 1985, the pair were introduced to Janet Jackson who had previously released two solo albums.

But, neither really sold well.

Janet was trying to depart from her brother Michael’s shadow, so she agreed to have Jam & Lewis write and produce her third album “Control” which became a multi-platinum selling album in 1986 and won Jam & Lewis a Grammy Award.

But, that was just the start of their association with Janet Jackson.

That same year they also produced the Human League’s U.S. Chart topper “Human.”

During this time Jam & Lewis had also produced Alexander O Neal’s self titled first album and his breakthrough follow up album “Hearsay” in 1987.

Jam & Lewis are widely regarded for being the artists that inspired the New Jack Swing R’n’B sound of the late 80’s and early 90’s with their use of drum machine programming that gave their drum beats a much more harder sound.

This was continued with Janet Jacksons 1989 album “Rhythm Nation 1814 ” which produced four U.S. Number ones including, “I Miss You Much,” “Rhythm Nation,” “Escapade,” and “Black Cat.”

In their over thirty plus year career in the recording industry, Jam & Lewis have worked with other artists such as Earth Wind and Fire, TLC, Yolanda Adams, Chaka Khan, Kelly Price, Johnny Gill, and Vanessa Williams.

The duo have continued their long standing collaboration with Janet Jackson through the albums “Janet (1993), The Velvet Rope (1997), All for You (2001), and her latest album “Unbreakable.”

The duo have also amassed the record for having the most U.S. Number One songs ever in both the R’n’B and Pop charts and are one of the few artists to achieve number ones in each of the three decades that they’ve been involved in songwriting and production.

These Savannah S8122 – Black Sunglasses are similar to the ones worn by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

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