Jheri Curl June: Colonel Abrams’ “The Truth”

In some ways, it’s surprising that it took us this long to feature Colonel Abrams (real name, no gimmicks) for Jheri Curl June. He was born in Detroit–always a big plus for us proud Southeastern Michiganders. He had connections to the architects of the sound, having sung on a few tracks by 94 East, a Minneapolis-based studio band that briefly featured an 18-year-old Prince Rogers Nelson on guitar. And, while the Colonel is better-known as a house artist, one listen to the whining synthesizers and flanged drum-machine claps on his 1985 debut album should be more than enough to get your Jheri Curl sense a-tingling.

Like JCJ Class of 2015 member James “D-Train” Williams, Colonel Abrams distinguished himself by layering a soulful, gospel-infused baritone over his futuristic soundscapes. Indeed, “The Truth” from his debut album basically is a gospel song, with Abrams testifying “Let’s stop all hatred / ‘Cause love is what we need,” a bank of synthesizers taking the place of the church organ. I’m not a church-going man, but if it was anything like the music video above–featuring the Colonel in a graffitied alley, rocking Sgt. Pepper marching-band chic years before Michael Jackson and flanked by what appear to be the dancers from Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield” video–then I’d be in that bitch every Sunday morning.

We’ll be back with more mid-period Jheri Curl tomorrow. Until then, the Spotify and YouTube playlists are below!

https://open.spotify.com/user/dystopiandanceparty/playlist/1yMKR3XVUmf735OSwrn5HD?si=HzfuLiJaT0iu3Lg4Mveu0A

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