Classics: Jerry Knight – Overnight Sensation (A&M Disco)
‘Overnight Sensation’ is most likely the most famous cuts by the likes of bassist/singer Jerry Knight as a solo artist. As a matter of fact, chances are greater you might remember him as a founding member of Raydio along with Ray Parker, Jr. If not as the Jerry of the Ollie & Jerry guise. In other words the pair responsible for the famous ‘There’s No Stoppin” from the ‘Breakin” OST back in 1984…
Leavin’ Raydio in 1980, Knight embarked soon after on a solo career. Releasing his eponymous debut-LP out of which ‘Overknight Sensation’ stands as the definitive highlight. With production work courtesy of David Kershenbaum and the presence of Patrice Moten on synths.
Strangely enough and despite his obvious skills, ‘Overnight Sensation’ would be his biggest success. Meanwhile bnringin’ him to the position #17 in the U.S. R&B charts at the time.
A native of Los Angeles, CA, bassist/singer Jerry Ernest Knight first made his classes as a member of Master Fleet in the mid 70’s. The group releasing an album – ‘High On The Sea’ – on the Sussex label back in 1974. He would get though to a higher recognition 3 years later when invited to join Raydio by Ray Parker, Jr. Then, he most likely contributed to the biggest classics of the group. From ‘Jack And Jill’ to ‘Rock On’, ‘Hot Stuff’ and ‘Two Places At The Same Time’. But also ‘It’s Time To Party Now’, ‘Until The Morning Comes’ and ‘For Those Who Like To Groove’. This before leavin’ the band to start a solo career back in 1980.
He released 3 albums under his own banner between 1980 and 1982. With all of them unfortunately meeting moderate success. This despite the presence of ‘Overnight Sensation’ on his debut-album. The latter standing as his most famous cut for the period. Knight would nvertheless find the way back to the spotlights. This while teamin’ up with Raydio drummer Ollie Brown on the title track to the soundtrack of the 1984 Breakin’ movie, which peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Meanwhile, he would work with countless luminaries, as a songwriter, producer or musician. From Bill Withers to Howard Hewett. Not to mention The Whispers (‘Tonight’), The Jets or Herb Alpert (‘Rise’) to name a few…
Jerry Knight sadly died of cancer in Los Angeles on Dec. 29, 1996, aged 44.