A collection of the best songs by one of 1960s Philadelphia’s top writer/producers.
Native Philadelphian Jerry Ross’ name can be found on the labels of many of the city’s most significant singles and albums. He may not be as well-known as contemporaries such as Dick Clark, Chubby Checker or Gamble & Huff, but Jerry’s career has been equally important to the evolution of the Philly music scene. This month Ace is delighted to spotlight his classic compositions with the latest entry in our popular Songwriter series.
Jerry’s most frequent co-writer was the young Kenny Gamble. It was Jerry who suggested that he and Gamble write something with another upcoming Philly musician, Leon Huff. Together the three penned ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me’, heard here in its original hit version by Dee Dee Warwick, which led to Gamble and Huff’s permanent partnership and Philadelphia’s dominance of the soul scene over the next 10 years.
Mort Shuman, Artie Kornfeld, Mark Barkan and the Anders & Poncia and Bloodworth & Brown teams also number among those with whom Jerry wrote songs, and what fine songs they were: ‘Who Do You Love’, ‘Mr Dream Merchant’, ‘The 81’, ‘Daylight Savin’ Time’, ‘When Love Slips Away’, ‘You Gave Me Somebody To Love’ and many more besides. The tracks here span just about the whole of the 1960s and demonstrate how Jerry moved with the changes that occurred during that era. All the major acts he worked with are featured, along with some pleasant surprises he wasn’t aware of or had forgotten about until he saw the track listing.
Jerry also worked as a singer, musician, DJ, radio announcer, music publisher, record plugger, producer and owner of the successful Heritage and Colossus labels. With so much going on in his career it’s amazing he found time to write even one song, let alone the 24 great ones featured here.