Don Julian (April 7, 1937 – November 6, 1998) was an American rhythm and blues, funk and soul singer, guitarist and songwriter. Most famous for his work as an R&B singer in the 1950s and 1960s, he's also known for composing the soundtrack and songs to the (so-called) blaxploitation film, Savage!. Born Donald R. Julian in Houston, Texas, United States, in his teens he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he began performing with local bands. He performed both solo and with backing bands. His most famous backing group was "The Meadowlarks" (later named The Larks (Los Angeles Band)), although most of his film music was performed with instrumental funk bands. The Meadowlarks is considered the first integrated doo-wop group. In 1954, Don Julian and the Meadowlarks' debut single "Heaven and Paradise", became popular with R&B fans. In 1964, the single, "The Jerk" was released under the band name, The Larks. The single, released on the Money label, was Julian's only chart hit. It went to number one on the Cash Box R&B chart and peaked at number seven on the Billboard R&B chart. Julian recorded several solo albums for a variety of record labels in the 1970s before his death in November 1998 from pneumonia, aged 61.
Links To Peel
Peel played tracks from Don Julian with his backing group the Meadowlarks who later changed their names to the Larks, on his shows, although he may have first played them in the mid-60's in America, whilst working there. In the UK, Peel did play some of Don Julian's work on his radio shows, mostly from soul compilation albums.
Don Julian & The Larks
13 June 2002: Slauson Shuffle (LP - The Jerk - The Money Recordings) Kent