Monday, September 12, 2016

Passings: Joe Jeffrey of "My Pledge of Love" Fame

by VVN Music

Joe Jeffrey, who went to number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 with My Pledge of Love, died at his Cleveland home on September 4 after fighting cancer. He was 80.

Not a lot is known about Jeffrey. He was born Joe Stafford but changed his name early in his career so he would not be confused with pop singer Jo Stafford.

Jeffrey was popular in the Cleveland area before signing with Wand Records. According to Diana Reid Haig, who produced the album The Scepter Records Story, The Joe Jeffrey Group's first single, My Pledge of Love, was recorded at Audio Recording Studio in Cleveland, a small four-track operation, with Liberty Records salesman Alan Klein producing.  Jerry Myers, an independent distributor for Scepter, was listed as co-producer although he may not have actually worked on the record.

My Pledge of Love went to number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100, 13 in Cashbox and 6 in Canada, becoming the group's only hit.

Their followup music was recorded at American Group Productions in Memphis with Chips Moman joining Klein and Meyers. None of the tracks charted although their version of My Baby Loves Lovin', a bigger hit for White Plains, did bubble under the Hot 100.  In total, they released five singles and one album.

Jeffrey returned to Cleveland and continued to play around the local clubs.


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