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

dnr trout stocking helicopter

DNR uses a helicopter to more efficiently stock lakes with trout

In the past, the DNR used airplanes to stock remote lakes with fish, but the survival rate of the fish was only 85%.

steve simon zoom call

Secretary of State explains plans for segregated absentee ballots

Election officials are reminding voters that it's too late to mail in your absentee ballots.

Halloween, trick-or-treating

Osterholm on safe trick-or-treating: 'I would say go ahead with it'

The infectious disease expert's opinion doesn't align with the CDC's guidance.

drop and go ballot plymouth

It's too late to mail your ballot, but you can still vote. Here's how.

Voters can drop off their absentee ballot, vote early in-person or head to the polls on Election Day.

2019-12-11 f1rst Wrestling Hanukka Havok-Darin Kamnetz-154

Dusting itself off after virus blow, F1rst Wrestling returns to the ring this Sunday

Minnesota's premier independent wrestling company was on top of the world before the virus hit.

1024px-McD-McRib

McDonald's is bringing the McRib back in December

It hasn't appeared on menus for eight years.

Apple Valley High School

2 more Twin Cities districts moving to distance learning for grades 6-12

The decision was announced as infection rates in Dakota County rise.

covid-19 testing site sign

Here are the 4 free COVID-19 testing sites in MN for the week of Nov. 2

People don't need to have symptoms or insurance to get tested for free.

minnesota zoo

Minnesota Zoo launches activities to get people embracing nature

The zoo is hosting a pumpkin scavenger hunt and a "Do the Zoo, Not Zoom Day."

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.