Jesse “Sweet Joe” Russell, one of the founding members of a cappella group The Persuasions, passed away on May 5th while waiting for a kidney transplant. He was in his early-70′s.
Russell first organized the group with Jerry Lawson, Jayotis Washington, Herbert “Taubo” Rhoad and Jimmy “Bro” Hayes in Brooklyn during the mid-60′s. They got their first big break when Frank Zappa heard them sing and flew the group to Los Angeles to record their first album. The Persuasions would salute their original mentor thirty years later with the album Frankly A Cappella.