“We often think that the measure of an artist’s impact is how brightly the spotlight shines on him or her. But as Just A Mortal Man so beautifully illustrates, over the course of his life Jerry Lawson used the dimmer glow of small club stages, independent record labels and long bus rides to impact the musical world in ways few superstars will ever match. Highly Recommended.

Read more at SOULTRACKS

The February 15 PodCast of the Richard Eeds Show discusses the film.

Take a listen at

I am still drying my eyes which have been raining tears of joy and sadness while watching the life story of your dear husband Jerry. I grew up with his music (I am now 71) but have to admit did not know his name. It it now emblazoned in my psyche, my heart and my soul. As someone who spent much of his adult life advocating for parents of children with disabilities, I was particularly moved by your husband’s journey into the field of support services for adults with disabilities after caring for his beloved mother who had dementia. His voice entered into your body not through your ears but directly into your heart and soul. This Jewish, Gay old man was as moved today hearing the full span of your husband’s contributions to the world as I was when I joyously listened to the Persuasions in the Bandshell of Prospect Park many years ago. (if my brain cells are working today!). Yours was and is a love story for the ages blinded to racial differences, religious differences and societal differences. It lives on I am sure in the loving memories you kindle in your heart every day. I must now listen to the treasure trove of melodious gifts he left us all on a regular basis. Please know your husband left this world a better place in so many ways!! Stay healthy and may each day bring you more and more comfort moving forward.

- Gary S.

I got so engrossed in Jerry’s life story, and of course the singing, that it almost didn’t occur to me that someone, outside of Jerry, was pointing the camera, holding the mic, etc.
The production was so creative, smooth, and seamless, it’s like being in a cool breeze in the middle of the summer. You can’t see the wind, but you can see, and feel it’s effects, and you are certainly glad that it’s there. Keep up the good work.

- Floyd B. III (VA)

I saw your documentary a couple of nights ago on PBS, CH 32, WHUT in Wash. D.C.. I watched it again the next morning. I wanted to thank you for making this film about Jerry. It makes me happy that a wider world gets to see the great talent he had ,and the fine human being he was. I had the privilege of being with Jerry a few times in the late 70s. We met him at the Cellar Door in Georgetown, D.C. Hearing, and feeling him sing within a couple of feet of me is one of the most memorable events of my life. And yes, he could look into people for sure. I can still hear him saying about singing: ” It’s got to have THAT PUSH!” I learned a lot of things I didn’t know about Jerry by seeing your documentary. Thanks for this wonderful piece of work. I don’t think there is anyone who comes close to Jerry ss a singer in today’s music world. Pretty certain no one comes close as a human being? In both viewings? Tears were flowing. It was good to be able to properly mourn.

- Vernon E. (D.C.)

We saw “Just A Mortal Man – The Jerry Lawson Story” on PBS and wanted to tell you we absolutely loved it! A beautiful film about a beautiful person. A great achievement and a meaningful work of art. The film communicated not just what an accomplished artist Jerry was, and what a genuinely good soul he had, but it also conveyed many important life lessons from how he lived and pursued his own life. Wonderful to watch!

- Steve Z. (NY)

Just finished watching The Jerry Lawson Story. Touched beyond words and shed some tears.

- Michele S.

Such a beautiful film and dedication to dear Jerry.

- Marilu N. (AZ)

I just finished watching the Documentary of Jerry Just A Mortal Man—The Jerry Lawson Story! I loved it 🥰 it was beautifully done and gave such a deeper insight on Jerry! Thank you for sharing it and everyone who was involved in producing and directing it.

- Marlene B.

We watched the documentary and loved it. Sobbed at the end.

- Crystal A.S.

It was on Thursday night in Southern Calif. TREMENDOUS!!

- Ahava L.

Thank you for making this extraordinarily touching video of my long-time hero, Jerry Lawson. For decades now, I’ve told others that if I can come back after I die, I want to come back as a Persuasion.

- Willa M.

That was excellent.  The quality of Lawson as a man and musician really comes through fully. Though I’d known through you of his work with the developmentally disabled, I never fully appreciated that aspect of his life until seeing this.  The surprise reception from the kids and the ensuing autograph session had me in tears.  Really well done.

- Dean of Arts at UPenn

Just a Mortal Man is an infectious watch on two fronts. One is the a cappella singing of The Persuasions, as well as Lawson as a solo artist, which are near-constant refrains throughout the film, sometimes in the foreground during archival concert footage and sometimes in the background during interview segments. The other is Lawson himself, whose love for the craft and open-hearted nature shines through. His commitment to making music seemed greater to him than achieving any measure of fame.”

Read more at The Santa Fe New Mexican

“Jerry Lawson. Not many people will recognize the name, but take a listen to his voice and it transcends.”

Read more at The Albuquerque Journal

I just finished watching a new, fantastic documentary called “Just A Mortal Man – The Jerry Lawson Story” and I am ecstatic!  I saw it on WLIW, one of my local PBS stations.

I did not know that Jerry Lawson and his legendary and hugely influential singing group, The Persuasions, were largely responsible for creating the genre of contemporary a cappella. Of course, I was familiar with their music; but the PBS biopic was intimate, perceptive, and informative. While their gorgeous music enveloped the production, the fascinating story line of Mr. Lawson and his fellow creative/performing artists held center stage — the uncompromising spotlight never wavered as the documentary revealed the complex lives of these men.  By the end of the show, I felt a deep connection to my fellow New Yorkers, Jerry Lawson and The Persuasions. So outstanding and captivating was this production, that I didn’t want it to end.

I am happily giving a standing ovation to “Just A Mortal Man — The Jerry Lawson Story” and recommending it to all my friends. Bravo! Thank you, PBS!

- Barrie M. (NY)

“Just A Mortal Man “. I’ve been looking forward to watching it for a long time. I’m thrilled with the way it turned out. I learned a little bit more about my favorite group The Persuasions and the guys in the group especially Jerry. Jerry and his music live on for me as I play his music every week. Since the early 1970’s I’ve been a fan. Without a doubt I’ve seen more PERSUASION shows than any other act. Great work.

- Cary B.

I watched The Jerry Lawson piece yesterday. Such a wonderful film. Well done. Bravo!

- Delia G. (Atlanta)

Just watched this Jerry Lawson Story here on Hawaii PBS. It was beautifully done about a most beautiful man. Mahalo.

- Georgia C. (HI)

I watched this today & loved it. It’s much more than a music story, it’s a love story, it’s a musical history, it’s the story of an acapella legend & much more. I’m so glad this got made. As a long time Persuasions fan & long time Jerry Lawson fan trust me Jerry – you’re much more than Just a Mortal Man.

- Chris S.

We saw it last night.  Wonderful presentation. We could see the love.

- Jack B.

While I’m a tiny bit biased, my fair assessment of the film is FANTASTIC JOB! It moved along so nicely, and it was over before I wanted it to be!  Left me wanting more. Left me in tears. People will be googling for more of Jerry!  Congrats to you for the top shelf job on this. All in the name of love for Jerry. 😉

- John W. (Phoenix)

I watched it last night on Rocky Mountain PBS. It was incredible! I had no idea. I don’t think I know of a finer human being than Jerry Lawson. God Bless Estelle. He brings out a lot of wonderful emotions. I still get really emotional just thinking about the scene where he came back to sign autographed pictures for his kids! It was wonderful to see how you two were so meant to be together talk about fate and destiny

- Scot A.

Absolutely wonderful !!!!

- Phil J. (NJ)

This was a beautiful piece. Loving tribute to a very special man. Thanks for doing it.

- Kenneth F.

Watched it tonight and it was wonderful.

- Charlie E.

I’m so sorry for your loss Mrs. Lawson and family…I just saw the beautiful documentary about Jerry Lawson. 💗💔💙💙💖

- Pam S.

I could see that this project was a real labor of love. It really showcases Jerry quite extensively as a care worker. More than I expected to see and that’s a good thing.  Kudos to the team and happy that somebody did this loving tribute to Jerry. 

- Radio host/marketing director at KRSH in Santa Rosa, CA

Watching it now.  Wow, didn’t know it was going to go there.  Now I know where his voice came from. Yeah, I couldn’t talk at the end, and that is the highest compliment.  Since my Mom died of dementia in 2017 I could understand where that desire to care came from.  In fact, he’s officially on my hero list now

- Tai Chi Instructor

“[Jerry], you have blazed the trail for this whole a cappella thing.”
Shawn Stockman from Boyz II Men – Singer/Songwriter – Record Producer

” I admire the undeniable depth in Jerry’s big voice. A true soul singer…”
Rod Stewart

“To be able to be a part of preserving a special art – A cappella – it means so much to me.”
–Jerry Lawson on A cappella

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