Jerry Knight

Jerry Ernest Knight (April 17, 1952 — December 29, 1996) was an American R&B vocalist and bassist who reached prominence in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Along with Ray Parker Jr., he was a founding member of the group Raydio, singing vocals on their early hit "Jack and Jill." He then left to pursue a solo career, releasing three solo albums and achieving moderate success with minor hits such as "Overnight Sensation," "Perfect Fit" and "Turn It Out".

Jerry Knight
Birth nameJerry Ernest Knight
Born(1952-04-17)April 17, 1952
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedDecember 29, 1996(1996-12-29) (aged 44)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)Singer, Songwriter, Producer
InstrumentsBass guitar, vocals
Years active1978–1996
LabelsArista, A&M
Associated actsRaydio


A Los Angeles native, in 1983, Knight teamed with session drummer Ollie E. Brown to form Ollie & Jerry. Together, they provided the title track to the soundtrack to the 1984 movie Breakin', which reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. They also recorded the title track for Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, which got up to #45 on the Billboard R&B chart. Although his solo career faded, Knight continued to write and produce for acts such as The Whispers, Patrice Rushen, DeBarge, Howard Hewett and Elkie Brooks.

Knight also co-wrote "Crush On You," "Curiosity," and "Private Number" for The Jets.

According to an interview with his Raydio bandmate, Ray Parker, Jr., Raydio's song "Jack and Jill" was actually written about Knight and his wife, whose real name was Jill. Parker also added that the couple had two children together.[1]

Knight died of cancer in Los Angeles on December 29, 1996 at age 44.[2] He is buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery.[3]

Solo discographyEdit


  • Jerry Knight (A&M Records, 1980)
    • "Good Times"
    • "Monopoly"
    • "Overnight Sensation"
    • "Sweetest Love"
    • "Joy Ride"
    • "Let Me Be the Reason"
    • "Freek Show"
    • "Now That She's Rockin'"
  • Perfect Fit (A&M Records, 1981)
    • "Easier to Run Away"
    • "Higher"
    • "Perfect Fit"
    • "Play Sista"
    • "Rainbow"
    • "Too Busy"
    • "Turn It Out"
    • "Twilight"
  • Love's on Your Side (A&M Records, 1982)
    • "Beautiful"
    • "Brand New Fool"
    • "Do It All for You"
    • "Do You Really Mean It"
    • "Fire"
    • "I'm Down for That"
    • "Nothing Can Hold Us Back"
    • "She's Got to Be (A Dancer)"


Year Title U.S. R&B chart U.S. Pop Chart
1980 "Overnight Sensation" 17 103
1980 "Joy Ride" 87 -
1981 "Perfect Fit" 16 -
1981 "Turn It Out" 65 -
1982 "She's Got to Be (A Dancer)" 71 -

Songwriting CreditsEdit

Year Artist Song Title Album
1977 Rare Earth "Is Your Teacher Cool?" Rarearth
1978 Elkie Brooks "Since You Went Away" Shooting Star
1979 Charles Jackson "Gonna Get Your Love" Im Gonna Get Your Love
1980 Dee Edwards "Don't Walk Away" Two Hearts Are Better Than One
1983 The Whispers "Tonight" Love for Love
1983 Philip Bailey "Desire" Continuation
1984 Ollie & Jerry "Breakin'... There's No Stopping Us" Breakin Soundtrack
1984 George Duke "Secret Rendezvous" Secret Rendezvous
1984 Ollie & Jerry "They're So Incredible" Revenge of the Nerds Soundtrack
1984 Philip Bailey "Photogenic Memory" Chinese Wall
1984 The Chi Lites "Running around" Steppin' Out
1985 Howard Johnson "Stand Up" The Vision
1985 Jeff Lorber "It Takes a Woman" Step by Step
1985 Willie Hutch "Sexy Feelin" Making a Game Out of Love
1985 The Jets "Curiosity" The Jets
1985 The Jets "Crush on You" The Jets
1985 The Jets "Private Number" The Jets
1985 The Jets "Love Umbrella" The Jets
1985 The Jets "Heart on the Line" The Jets
1985 The Jets "Right Before My Eyes" The Jets
1986 Bunny Debarge "Save the Best for Me" In Love
1986 Bunny Debarge "Life Savier" In Love
1986 O'Bryan "Tenderoni" Surrender
1986 O'Bryan "You Have Got to Come to Me" Surrender
1986 O'Bryan "What Goes Around" Surrender
1987 Dionne Warwick "Cry on Me" Reservations for Two
1987 Natalie Cole "Everlasting" Everlasting
1987 Brenda K. Starr "Drive Another Girl Home" Brenda K. Starr
1988 Howard Hewett "Challenge" Forever and Ever
1988 Five Star "Physical Attraction" Rock the World
1992 Nona Gaye "Give Me Something Good" Love for the Future


  1. ^ Parker, Ron. "Ray Parker Jr in Studio <<WCBS-FM 101.1" (Ray Parker, Jr. interview with Rockin' Ron Parker). WCBSFM 101.1: New York's Greatest Hits Retrieved June 15, 2014.
  2. ^ Wynn, Ron. "Artist Biography". AllMusic.
  3. ^ Jerry Knight at Find a Grave

External linksEdit