The “Golden Hits OThe 70s” 

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(Donnie Iris)

Kama Sutra 502

No. 2   March 21, 1970




The Jaggerz were a hard-working Pittsburgh bar band formed in the mid-’60s.  At the moment of their

flash flight to fame, the Jaggerz consisted of keyboardist/ trumpeter Thorn Davis (b. Duquesne, PA),

guitarist/ bassist Benny Faiella (b. Beaver Falls, PA), drummer/ bassist Billy Maybray, drummer Jim

Pugliano, trom­bonist/bassist, Jimmy Ross (b. Aliquippa, PA), and lead singer/guitarist Dominic Ierace (b.

1943, Ellwood City, PA).  Their individual roots dated back to the pre-Beatie years and bands with names

like the Silvertones, the Starliners, and Donnie & The Donnells; the latter, long-time regulars at Dominic’s

dad’s place, Lou’s Tavern.


Joe Rock–manager of Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners, known to oldies fans for their perennials’

“Since I Don’t Have You” and “This I Swear”–discovered the Jaggerz in a saloon one night.  The story goes

that without much effort, he convinced Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, later kingpins in the creation of the

“Philadelphia Sound,” to record the guys for the Gam­ble label.  The resulting 1969 album (Introducing

the ]aggerz) and several singles (notably “Baby I Love You,” with Maybray singing lead) stiffed.  Rock

next approached Kama Sutra, brandishing one of Dominic’s songs in particular.  True, “The Rapper” has

not aged with its colors flying, and is not a heavily-requested oldie, but at the time, “The Rapper” was a

stone-cold smash.


Later sides such as “I Call My Baby Candy” (#75, 1970) and “What a Bummer” (#88, 1970) did not do as

well.  Five years later, Wooden Nickel Records gave what remained of the Jaggerz another go-round in the

studios, but the results were worse than could be expected.


Dominic Ierace, the group’s voice and main tune­smith, changed his name to Donnie Iris.  For a while, Iris

was a member of WILD CHERRY and later half of Iris & Taylor with MCA artist B. E. Taylor.  His

subsequent solo career–with the co-writing skills of ex-Cherry Mark Avsec–produced a string of Hot 100

chartings from 1980-1985 and several LPs on MCA.  Don Gavin (guitar/bass) and Robert Peckman (bass),

both post-hit members of the Jaggerz went on to One-Hit status with “Dancin’ Man,” as Q.  For years,

Jimmy Ross has been a member of eternally touring Skyliners.