HomeSweet Joe Russell of the Persuasions Dies While Waiting for a Kidney Transplant

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Jesse "Sweet Joe" Russell, one of the founding members of the Persuasions, passed away on Saturday while waiting for a kidney transplant. He was in his early-70's.

Russell first organized the group with Jerry Lawson, Jayotis Washington, Herbert "Taubo" Rhoad and Jimmy "Bro" Hayes in Brooklyn during the mid-60's. They got their first big break when Frank Zappa heard them sing and flew the group to Los Angeles to record their first album. The Persuasions would salute their original mentor thirty years later with the album Frankly A Cappella.

While they were well known for their religious based music, they also had their toes dipped into the world of popular music, recording tribute albums to artists like the Grateful Dead, U2 and the Beatles. All together, they recorded almost thirty albums between 1970 and today.

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