Jay Ferguson

Best known as the lead singer of Spirit and Jo Jo Gunne, Jay Ferguson pursued a solo career in the late '70s before eventually moving into film scoring work. Ferguson was born May 10, 1947, in Burbank, CA; tired of piano lessons, he began playing folk music as a teenager, but soon discovered rock & roll through the British Invasion, and played in several garage bands for fun. One of those bands, the Red Roosters, featured several future members of Spirit, the eclectic, jam-oriented psychedelic rock outfit that Ferguson joined in 1967. Spirit released four albums from 1968-1970 and became cult favorites through their exposure on the newly emerging, album-oriented FM radio underground. However, band infighting eventually led to Ferguson's departure; he and Spirit bassist Mark Andes left in 1971 to form Jo Jo Gunne, which played a more straightforward, melodic brand of hard rock, and began to feature Ferguson's piano/keyboard playing. Jo Jo Gunne released four albums before disbanding in 1975 amid a loss of musical direction, and Ferguson went solo, remaining with the Asylum label.