A Minnesota Connection To The 2022 Rock ‘N Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees
The Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame announced their 2022 class of inductees this morning and among the field of inductees like Judas Priest, Dolly Parton, and Duran Duran, there is a Minnesota connection that should be celebrated. The producing duo of James 'Jimmy Jam' Harris III and Terry Lewis put Minneapolis on the map in terms of a sound and place to go to record and put together a hit album.
James “Jimmy Jam” Harris III and Terry Lewis are known for their studio magic, creating smooth, funky synth-laden grooves, as well as their signature style – dark sunglasses, black suits, and black fedora hats. Minneapolis natives, joined forces while still in high school and soon found themselves rocketed into the orbit of rising superstar Prince as members of the band the Time. That period exposed them to the music business and touring, and how to perfect the sound of a band on the road and in the studio. Jam & Lewis became innovators of the Minneapolis sound, an exciting blend of jazz, soul, R&B, funk, disco, early punk, new wave, and dance.
The two went on to define the sound of a decade with their 'New Jack Swing' sound and took a performer in Janet Jackson and helped launch her into an icon. Many of those early albums were recorded in South Minneapolis near the corner of East 44th Ave and Nicollet Ave in a non-decript-looking brick building.
The duo then moved in the late 80s to a studio in Edina, before leaving and taking their studios to Los Angeles.
While it's great to see many artists and groups get inducted, seeing icons like Jimmy and Terry, Minnesotans like us, be inducted just 3 years after Janet Jackson was inducted is a pretty great moment.