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Jerry Yester Biography

 

At the age of 18, Jerry Yester began working the
folk clubs of L.A. with his brother Jim, as the
Yester Brothers. Jerry went on to record with the New
Christy Minstrels and the Modern Folk Quartet, with whom
he played hundreds of concerts over the next four years.

"There was an incredible camaraderie among musicians in
those days," Jerry remembers. "It seemed like everyone
helped everyone else make their records, and in this
spirit I played piano on the first Lovin' Spoonful single
'DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC?' in 1965.

After the MFQ disbanded the following year, Jerry produced
an album by Jim's group The Association, as well as Tim
Buckley's debut, "Goodbye and Hello." Then the Spoonful
called with an offer to replace guitarist Zal Yanovsky for
one album and hundreds of live gigs, including a legendary
Ed Sullivan Show appearance.

Back in L.A., Jerry began producing with
Yanovsky, including Zally's solo album and Buckley's
"Happy Sad." On his own, Jerry produced the Turtles, Aztec
Two Step, and Tom Waits' 1973 debut, "Closing Time." In
the years that followed, he performed with The Association
and the reunited MFQ and did arrangements for Waits, the
Manhattan Transfer, and Spanky and Our Gang.

Jerry moved to Hawaii in 1984 where, with Jim on board,
the MFQ cut a series of albums and toured widely,
including Japan. A sought-after producer, Jerry lives in
Harrison, AR. "When I got word that the Spoonful was going
to be on the move again, I got one of those rare feelings
that the timing was exceptionally good," Jerry says. "So
here we are on tour again, and it feels good!"