The Songwriters Hall of Fame just got a little more Minnesotan

Jimmy "Jam" Harris and Terry Lewis are among the new members of the Hall.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

There's really no denying the Hall of Fame credentials of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

They've written and produced 16 songs that hit number 1 on the pop charts (26 on the R&B charts) ... they've had number one songs in three different decades ... five Grammy awards ... nine Songwriter of the Year awards.

And now they are among the newest members of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, which named its 2017 inductees on Wednesday.

Jam and Lewis have written and produced for both Michael and Janet Jackson and for a lot of people who only need one name: Usher, Drake, Beyonce, Rhianna, Kanye.

Other than Prince, it's likely that no one else did more to popularize the Minneapolis Sound.

And it was Prince who discovered them, making Jimmy "Jam" Harris and Terry Lewis members of The Time in 1981. They were still members of the band when they were recruited to produce the SOS Band. After a couple of their songs (including "Just Be Good to Me") topped the charts, they became full-time writers and producers instead of performers.

After the success of Janet Jackson's album Control, it seemed like all the stars of the '80s wanted to come to Minneapolis to work with Jam and Lewis at their studio, Flyte Tyme Productions.

They started their own label, Perspective Records, and launched it with the Grammy-winning first album by the Minneapolis gospel group Sounds of Blackness.

Even since they moved their studios to California in 2005, their Minnesota roots still show, most recently when they joined the other founding members of The Time for the Prince tribute at this year's Grammys.

Jimmy Jam is a past chairman of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences – the first African-American to serve in that role, his Songwriting Hall of Fame bio says.

His father, Cornbread Harris, is a locally renown jazz artist who still performs in the Twin Cities even as he approaches his 90th birthday.

A couple years ago Jam and Lewis sat down with Rolling Stone and picked 15 songs that capsulize their career.

Next Up

storm, severe weather

'Particularly dangerous situation' issued by NWS as potential derecho nears

Storms could produce damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes.

Flickr - Minnesota state senate chamber - Matt Lewis

Calls for investigation after former DFL staffer details sexual harassment

Cynthia Callais provided her account to the Minnesota Reformer.

Motzko and Schuneman

Driver in Orono crash that killed Motzko, Schuneman is in custody

The 51-year-old reportedly turned himself into police Wednesday.

Miguel Sano

Twins smash 7 homers, still lose to Tigers

It was a wild afternoon at Target Field.

Pixabay - school - classroom

Decision on school mask mandates will be up to local districts

It will not come from the health or education departments, an official said Wednesday.

spices recall

McCormick recalling some spice mixes sold in Minnesota

The company issued the voluntary recall over possible salmonella risk.

the mayo clinic - edit

Mayo Clinic named No. 1 on 'Best Hospitals' list

It's the sixth year in a row the Rochester hospital has been named the best of the best.

36262 Ottertail Rd, Battle Lake, Minnesota - September 2009

Bystander on dock sees teen struggling in water, jumps in to save him

The teen kept going under the surface near a dam on Otter Tail Lake.

castaway club camp

Cluster of COVID-19 cases tied to camp in western Minnesota

Ten cases have been reported among staff, report states.

Screen Shot 2021-07-28 at 12.16.13 PM

Rodgers pummels Packers front office in viral press conference

"The rules are the same for most people, but every now and then there are some outliers."

Pexels - mother child mask covid

MDH urging that all wear face masks, 12+ get vaccinated for upcoming school year

State health officials revealed their COVID-19 recommendations for 2021-22.

sunfish 1

Gallery: Aspen-inspired estate on private lake is yours for $4.95M

Each bedroom has its own bathroom. And there are four laundry rooms.

Related

The Songwriters Hall of Fame just got a little more Minnesotan

Jimmy "Jam" Harris and Terry Lewis are among the new members of the Hall.

Jay-Z will be the first rapper to join the Songwriters Hall of Fame

It's another major first for the Brooklyn hip-hop mogul.

The List: Obama inducts Jay-Z into Songwriters Hall of Fame

President Barack Obama expressed his love for Jay during the induction, with a few laughs along the way.

Leonard Cohen, songwriter and poet, dies at 82

The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer was one of the most influential singer-songwriters during his five-decade career

Lenny Kravitz pays tribute to Prince at Rock Hall ceremony

Kravitz played two songs in honor of his late friend.

Lenny Kravitz pays tribute to Prince at Rock Hall ceremony

Kravitz played two songs in honor of his late friend.