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Jerry Ragovoy: Wikis


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Jordan "Jerry" Ragovoy (born 1935, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania[1]) is an American songwriter and record producer.

His best-known composition "Time Is on My Side" (written under the pseudonym of Norman Meade) was made famous by the The Rolling Stones, although it had been recorded earlier by Kai Winding and Irma Thomas. Ragovoy also wrote "Stay With Me", which was originally recorded by Lorraine Ellison and performed by Mary J. Blige at the 49th Grammy Awards.

An important behind-the-scenes force behind East Coast soul music, Ragovoy wrote or co-wrote several classic New York and Philadelphia soul records in the 1960s, often distinguished by a conspicuous gospel feel.[2] The best of these included Garnet Mimms' "Cry Baby," Erma Franklin's "Piece of My Heart," Howard Tate's "Get It While You Can," all later covered by Janis Joplin, plus "Time Is on My Side" and "Stay With Me."[2] Ragovoy also contributed to first-class soul records as a producer and arranger.[2]



Ragovoy is a white Jew from Philadelphia, and entered record production in 1953 with "My Girl Awaits Me" by The Castelles.[2]

He worked at Philadelphia's Chancellor Records (where Fabian and Frankie Avalon had hits) and wrote The Majors' vocal group single "A Wonderful Dream," which made number 22 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962.[2] Around this time he began writing some songs with another white soul songwriter-producer, Bert Berns, including "Cry Baby" by Garnet Mimms and The Enchanters, which made number four in 1963.[2]

Another well-known song by Ragovoy is "Piece of My Heart", co-written with Berns, and performed originally by Erma Franklin, and later famously covered by Big Brother and the Holding Company. During the years 1966-68, Ragovoy was hired as producer and songwriter for the Warner Bros subsidiary, Loma Records. He also co-wrote several songs in Janis Joplin's solo career, including "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)" (originally by Lorraine Ellison on Loma Records), "Cry Baby" (originally by Garnet Mimms and The Enchanters, "Get it While You Can" (originally by Howard Tate, covered by Joplin) and "My Baby".

Ragovoy also produced recorded work by Bonnie Raitt and Milkwood.[2] However, his involvement in the music industry was less prolific from the 1970s onwards.[2]

In 1973 he won a Grammy Award as producer on Best Score From an Original Cast Show Album, for Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope.

In 2003 Ragovoy worked again with Howard Tate. The pair returned with an acclaimed CD, Howard Tate Rediscovered, written, arranged and produced by Ragovoy.[3]

In 2008 Ace Records released a compilation entitled The Jerry Ragovoy Story: Time Is On My Side

Notable compositions

Song title Artist Others
"About This Thing Called Love" Fabian
"Ain't Nobody Home" Howard Tate B. B. King, Bonnie Raitt
"All I Know is The Way I Feel" Irma Thomas Howard Tate, The Pointer Sisters
"A Wonderful Dream" The Majors
"Cloudy with a Chance of Tears" The Manhattans
"Cry Baby" Garnet Mimms and the Enchanters Janis Joplin
"Eight Days on the Road" Howard Tate Foghat
"Either Side of the Same Town" Howard Tate Elvis Costello
"Get It While You Can" Howard Tate Janis Joplin
"Heart Be Still" Lorraine Ellison
"I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face" Baby Washington Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick, Pat Thomas
"I'll Make It Up to You" Garnet Mimms and the Enchanters Manfred Mann
"I'll Take Good Care of You" Garnet Mimms and the Enchanters
"It's Been Such a Long Way Home" Garnet Mimms and the Enchanters
"It Was Easier to Hurt Her" Garnet Mimms and the Enchanters Chris Farlowe, Dusty Springfield
"Looking for You" Garnet Mimms and the Enchanters Chris Farlowe
"Love Makin' Music" Barry White
"Morning Light" Louis Jordan
"Move Me No Mountain" Dionne Warwick Hank Crawford, Chaka Khan, Soul II Soul, Love Unlimited
"My Baby" Garnet Mimms and the Enchanters Janis Joplin, The Yardbirds
"My Girl Awaits Me" The Castelles
"One Way Love" The Drifters
"Pata Pata" Miriam Makeba Osibisa, Percy Faith
"Piece of My Heart" Erma Franklin Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Move, Bonnie Tyler
"Ring Bell" Miriam Makeba
"Stay with Me" Lorraine Ellison The Walker Brothers, Bette Midler, Terry Reid
"Stop" Howard Tate James Gang, Jimi Hendrix, Band of Gypsys
"Sure Thing" Dionne Warwick
"Time Is on My Side" Kai Winding Irma Thomas, The Rolling Stones
"Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)" Lorraine Ellison Janis Joplin
"What's It Gonna Be" Dusty Springfield Barbara Acklin
"You Better Believe It" Small Faces
"You Don't Know Nothing About Love" Carl Hall Lorraine Ellison, Renée Geyer
"You Got It" Diana Ross



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