2019 INDUCTEES >> MAURICE WALKER-JULES
Category: Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award
Erl “Maurice” Walker-Jules grew up in Memphis, Tennessee during the ‘50s and ‘60s, right around the corner from the famed Stax Recording Company. At the age of 13, he moved to Chicago to attend Marshall High School. He started his own musical group—called The Lovers—in 1963 consisting of
twin brothers Harry and Jerry and William Coffee. Their local hit record Do This For Me did well. Maurice also started a group called the Players. They, too, had a record: He’ll Be Back. Maurice also sang with a group named Maurice and The Radiants. They had two record hits – Voice Your Choice and Ain’t No Big Thing. They performed on the national TV program The Beat.
After graduating from high school, Maurice returned to Memphis, where he promptly started a vocal group called Glass House and started working local and international TV shows such as The Della Reese Show, Swing Shift, Soul Train, The Gong Show, and The Harry Winfield Show. In the early ‘70s, he worked with the Esquires, who had a one-hit wonder, Get On Up. One of their most memorable performances was at the KRNT Theater in Des Moines.
In 1978 Maurice started working with a Funk/Reggae band called The Sargent’s Redd Army Band. During the 1980s they worked and toured with Lipp’s Inc. In 1987 he worked with the gospel group New Beginning, and they recorded an album called Moving On Up Heaven Way, which went Gold in 2004. The group worked with gospel artists including Commissioned, Little Lowell Mason of Des Moines, Signature Sound, and The Thompson Singers.
In 1992, Maurice received a call from his friend Paris Delany, a former member of Sargent’s Redd Army Band, and asked him to do a favor; Help finish recording the title track for Soni Da Da’s debut album Lover You Don’t Treat Me No Go No Mo, and go on tour with them. They traveled all over the world–Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Cairo, Netherlands, Brazil, and more.
Maurice moved to Iowa to retire from the music industry in 2001, but his love for music wouldn’t allow him to do so. He began working his one-man act called “The Maurice Jules Experience,” working at such venues as Wesley Acres, Ramsey Village, Scottish Rites, and Bickford Cottages. In the process, he met Jack Yates, Larry Lind, and Eddie Simpson, and the group Midwest Rock & Soul Revue was formed. Maurice also performs as part of a duet with Jeff Bockoven, JJ Inc.