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Published on Jun 30, 2012
Jerry Fuller (born November 19, 1938) is an American songwriter, singer and record producer.
Jerry Fuller was born in Fort Worth, Texas to a musical family, his father having been a singer with Bob Wills' Light Crust Doughboys. Jerry Fuller and his brother Bill performed as a duo in their home state, recording for the local Lin label, before Jerry branched out on his own and began writing his own material. In 1959 he moved to Los Angeles and secured a performing contract with Challenge Records. His rockabilly version of "The Tennessee Waltz" soon made #63 on the Hot 100, and earned him an invitation to appear on "American Bandstand."
In 1961, he wrote "Travelin' Man" which, although originally intended for Sam Cooke, was recorded by Ricky Nelson and went on to sell some 6 million copies worldwide. Fuller went on to write 23 of Nelson's recordings, including "A Wonder Like You", "Young World", and "It's Up To You", all of which made the US Top 10.
He then spent some time touring as a featured singer with The Champs, whose other members included Glen Campbell, Jimmy Seals, and Dash Crofts, before a period in the US Army. On his return in 1963, Challenge/Four Star moved him to New York to run their east coast operation. There, he discovered garage band The Knickerbockers, and produced their 1965 hit "Lies".
In 1967, he moved to Columbia Records as a producer. His first discovery was Gary Puckett and The Union Gap, who he found in a San Diego bowling alley lounge. The group had a succession of hits, including "Young Girl" (a UK #1), "Lady Willpower", and "Over You", all three both written and produced by Fuller. He also produced The Peanut Butter Conspiracy, and jazz singer O. C. Smith for whom he produced the hits "Son Of Hickory Holler's Tramp" and "Little Green Apples".
In 1970 he started his own Moonchild production company, producing the hit "Show and Tell" for Al Wilson.