Guest Author - Alice Andersen
In the world today, senior citizens are accustomed to aging rock stars performing live on stage. It’s when a group of senior citizen musicians step out of the shadows to help revive a musical genre that it’s time to take notice. Jerry Lawson and the Talk of the Town accomplished that in their performances for “The Sing-Off”, an NBC reality show.
Jerry Lawson is a part of our musical heritage as the lead singer of The Persuasions. Undoubtedly those seniors who were fans of classic rock & roll or country back in the day also enjoyed the more soulful sounds of The Persuasions from time to time. Unless you are a student of music, you might not know they performed in a style called “a cappella” which are vocals without instrument back-up. Their singing was always so beautifully done no one missed the instruments.
“The Sing-Off” brought a cappella back into our living rooms while Jerry Lawson and the Talk of the Town brought the history of a cappella back to life. These distinguished, elderly gentlemen compete song to song with the younger generations and they hold their own with the kids. Seniors across America can enjoy watching them strut their stuff across the stage while listening to the incredible harmony of those rich, soulful voices.
The group “Talk of the Town” is made up of Jerry Lawson as lead singer with five fantastic back-up singers. Before being joined by Jerry, the others were some of his biggest fans. For 35 years, they studied his music and sang in the San Franscisco area. Living and working quietly in Arizona at that time, Jerry Lawson crossed paths with the group Talk of the Town. He was so impressed with them that the legendary Jerry Lawson decided to become a member. The Talk of the Town were far from being unknowns all these years but The Sing-Off gave them a new platform and put their names back in the spotlight.
A cappella has many different styles and The Sing-Off shows them off at their best. The senior citizens of this amazing musical competition helps to blend the old with the new in the show. This raises a simple reality tv series to a level beyond mere competition. There is nothing more heart-warming than seeing elderly citizens on stage in a lively, fun, moving performance and outshowing so many of the kids. No matter what the competition brings, these members of “Talk of the Town” are truly winners. They will have many life-long fans for their courage and their strength as well as their truly outstanding voices. No matter what style of music you like, they are an inspiration to us all.