Jeree Recording

Jerry Reed and Don Garvin's Hitsville in Beaver County
In the 1970s when the mills of Beaver County were pouring out raging hot molten steel a music factory near the banks of the Beaver River began pouring out molten hot music. Jeree Recording Studio, located in a large Victorian House on picturesque tree lined 3rd Avenue in New Brighton, Pa, was the Western Pennsylvania’s version of Hitsville. Pittsburgh’s best rock, pop, and jazz acts came to Jerre’s to record their demos and albums on their way to national success. Offering high quality 16 and 24 track recordings along with engineering and production services Jeree’s attracted to their studios the Jaggerz, Diamond Reo, The Granati Brothers, The Silencers, Donnie Iris, B.E. Taylor, Wild Cherry, The Steals Brothers, The Iron City Houserockers, Billy Price, Norm Nardini , The Corbin / Hanner Band, Nathan Davis, Kenny Blake, Cooper & Ross, The Spuds, Modern Man, Triple X, Quiet Heroes, Chandler, Carter & Chanel, Pure Gold, the Distractions and many other artists. Glenn Burtnik of Styx and Maureen McGovern also recorded at Jeree Records. Several of the music industry’s top producers and engineers have recorded at Jerre’s including Bob Clearmountain, Adrian Barber, Mark Avsec and Paul Northfield. Donnie Iris recorded his Billboard topping hit songs "Ah Leah", "Love Is Like A Rock" ,"Agnes", "Shock Treatment", ' for his MCA Records releases of "Back On The Streets".and King Cool at Jeree’s. The soundtrack of the George A. Romero's Day Of The Dead movie was recorded at Jeree’s. 

The founders of Jeree Studio, Jerry Reed and Don Gavin, have been recognized for their important role in the Western Pennsylvania music scene by their induction into the Beaver County Musicians Hall of Fame in 2012. Jerry and Don also released recordings on three labels that they founded Jeree, Green Dolphin, and Candy.

Don Garvin begins his music career

Guitarist, engineer, and producer Don Garvin was born in Beaver, Falls where his father taught him to play four-string guitar and banjo at age three. Don taught himself electric bass at age 12 and piano at 15. He played in his first groups in Beaver Falls at age 16 with Larry and The Shadows and then The Victorians. During the early 60’s Garvin worked with several Pittsburgh area groups at live appearances and on recordings. As a member of Ralph Natural and The Naturals Garvin toured the East and Midwest. While serving in the military from 1965 to 1966 he played with various groups in Germany. Returning stateside he joined the Buddha/Kamasutra Records group Bluebird and from 1968 to 1970, They released the single “I Hear Ya Knockin’” that later became a hit for Dave Edmunds.

Jerry Reed founds legendary Car Hop Eatery

Jerry Reed, born in Indiana, Pa in 1926, grew up in Beaver, Pa. Discharged from the Air Force at age 21 he found work in a tire shop in the Fort Wayne Indiana. An innovative drive in hamburger restaurant across the street from the tire shop caught his attention as it offered curb service delivering meals to customers in their cars. Jerry decided to return to Beaver to open the first curb service restaurant in the Pittsburgh area. With the help of a friend he built a small 500 square foot cement block building along the Beaver River in Bridgeport. He opened Jerry’s Curb Service on Sept 29, 1947 making $15.50. Female car hops delivered burgers and fries to customers. In 1949 Jerry hired Donna as a car hop and she became his wife 3 months later.  Jerry’s became one of the most popular landmark eateries in the Beaver Valley. It was the favorite pick-up hangout of teenagers too young for the bar scene. They cruised around Jerry’s parking lot in their shiny souped-up cars looking for the right car to park next to. Many couples met at Jerry’s. During the 1960s Donny Reed originated the steak salad which today is staple menu item in restaurants around the country. After 24 years in business Jerry gave ownership the restaurant to his son Bruce in 1973 to pursue his hobby.

Jerry's Basement Recording Studio

As a hobby Jerry began experimenting with two track recording equipment and built a small studio in the basement of his Chippewa home in the mid 1960. He launched his own record label calling it “JEREE” recording local Beaver Valley groups including the Jaggerz, Gary Glen and the Jewel Tones, and the Racket Squad.  

The Shad Three

Around 1967 Jerry's daughter Candee invited three of her junior high school friends who had a garage band to record at her father's studio.  Her friends come over on a Saturday afternoon meeting Jerry for the first time. They said that said they needed a piano.  Jerry called New Brighten Music and had them deliver a rental piano for the session.  Seeing the rental price Jerry bought the piano on the spot. Candee's friends who called themselves the Shad Three recorded a cover of  “Louie Louie”  and an original song “Baby You Turn Me On”.  The Shad Three were comprised of the 12 old piano player Hermie Granati, his younger brother Rickie on snare, and their neighbor Keith Galentine on guitar.  Jerry pressed copies of the single for the Granati Brothers.  He also took the single to KDKA radio and played it for D.J. Clark Race.  They became lifelong friends with Jerry that day and went on the earn a national recording contract with Jerry's help a few years later..    .

Jeree Recording Launches

In 1975 Jerry Reed partnered with guitarist Don Garvin to build a full fledged 16 track recording studio. Seeing the many talented young musicians in the Beaver County area, they saw a need for a high quality recording studio. They purchased an old Victorian house in downtown New Brighton. Garvin, an electronics wizard spent six months building a control board for the studio that featured 600 switches, meters, and gauges. They saved $23,000 in startup costs building their own board. The large living room of the house became the sound proof main studio and the dining room became the control room that housed a 16 track recording machine. A drum room was also constructed.

The studio quickly became busy with recording sessions. During the first two years the studio was almost completely booked with only 15 open days. Reed was the Studio Manager and Garvin the Chief Engineer. Recording sessions were scheduled 24 hours a day. For Jerry the long hours were fun, not work. In the first two years of operation artists who recorded at Jeree included Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners, Diamond Reo, Dave Mac and the Rhythm Kings, the progressive country group Cambridge, and the Canadian group Prairie Fire. Lou Christie produced the recording of the song “Summer in Malibu” by the Pittsburgh group Sweet Breeze. Jazz great Nathan Davis recorded his album “If” in 1976 that was released on his own Tomorrow International label. Critic Jason Ankeny of rates “If” as a soul jazz classic writing “his playing possesses a sense of urgency and immediacy often missing from the jazz-funk aesthetic, and it transforms If into one of the finest recordings of its kind.

'Q' Breaks Big from Jeree Studios

In addition to his hours at the studio Don Gavin continued to work as a guitarist.  In 1976 he joined the Beaver Falls group ‘Q’ that was comprised of Robert Pecky" Peckman on bass and vocals, Bill Vogel on drums and vocals, and Bill Thomas on keyboards and vocals. ‘Q’ signed with U.K. Records and recorded an album at JEREE in 1977.  Carl Maduri who had been the producer of Wild Cherry’s hit song “Play That Funky Music” produced the Q recording sessions. The Rhythm Kings great horn section played back up on several cuts. Epic Records released the single “Dancin’ Man” in 1977. It reached number #23 on the Billboard charts selling over 600,000 copies. Epic release the album “Dancin’ Man”’ which climbed to #140 on the Billboard 200 for 1977. Don Gavin and Jeree studio had their first hit record

Jeree's Expands to 24 Tracks
With the success of ‘Q’ Jeree upgraded it’s equipment adding a 24 track machine in 1978. At the time when studios in New York and L.A. were charging $200 an hour for studio time, Jeree offered affordable time to Pittsburgh area musicians. Jeree’s offer hourly rates of $85 for the 24 track machine, $45 for for the 16 track machine, and $35 for the two track demo machine. Under a contract with Ultra-Media Jeree began recording radio and television commercials.

Home of the Hits

The addition of the 24 track machine opened the doors for more national successes. IN 1978 Wild Cherry featuring Donnie Iris and Mark Avsec recorded tracks for their last album "I Love My Music". The Granati Brothers recorded several demo songs that won them a recording contract with A&M Records. Tracts from the Jeree sessions along with tracts from studios in New York and Montreal were mixed to create the final master for the album G-Force that was released in 1979. The G-Force album received airplay on major stations across the U.S. launching the Granati Brothers on two nationwide tours with Van Halen.

The dance music band La Flavour from Massillon Ohio recorded their album “Mandolay” at Jerree in 1979. Mark Avsen (of Wild Cherry) produced the record and wrote several of the songs. The title track became a huge it in dance clubs across the country propelling it to number 7 on the Billboard Dance Chart. The single "When The Whistle Blows" was also a club hit. The group recorded a second rock album for MCA under the name of “Fair Warning” that went unreleased. 

The Silencers began rehearsals in the summer of 1979 and signed with manger/record promoter Tom Cossie.  Cossie brought the engineer Bob Clearmountain to Jeree's Studio in to record a demo tape of the Silencers.   Clearmountain later worked with Bruce Springsteen, Hall & Oats, David Bowie, The Pretenders, and David Werner.  Shopping the demo tape Cossie landed the Silencers a two album record distribution deal with CBS Records. 

Mark Avsen returned to Jeree in 1980 with his new band mate Donnie Iris to record two hit albums that were released on MCA. "Back On TheStreets" was released in 1980 and “King Cool” was released in 1981. With Donnie’s national hits Jeree was the top recording studio in the Tri-State area. B.E. Taylor recorded his MCA records release “Intermission” in 1982.

The movies came calling on Jeree in 1982 to record the soundtrack for the Stephen King and George Romero's movie "Creepshow" that starred Hal Holbrook, Adrianne Barbeau, and Leslie Nielsen.

Pure Gold

The popular oldies band Pure Gold began recording at Jeree’s in 1983 and release their first album on the Jeree lable Green Dolphin. They later released the album “Collage” in 1991  with the original song "You'd Be So Right" written by Joe Rock and Jimmy Beaumont called "You'd Be So Right". Don Gavin played guitar on and engineer their 1995 release Forever and their 2008 release "Pure Gold: Life Is But a Dream".

Major renovations to the studio were made in 1983 and new equipment that included the DGE Console. VCA Automation was added. During the late 1980s the The Iron City Houserockers, The Silencers, The Spuds, Cooper & Ross, Triple X, The Corbin / Hanner Band, Quiet Heroes, Carter & Chanel, and Kenny Blake recorded. The 1990s saw the Distractions, Pitch Black, Expense, Billy Price, Pure Gold, The Skyliners, North Carolina based gospel artist Curtis Brown, the Rodger Montgomery Blues Band, and Quiet Heroes returned to Jeree to record new releases. 

In 2000 Don Garvin played guitar on, produced, and engineered two of Billy Price's recordings Danger Zone and "Is It Over?/They Found Me Guilty" 

American Soundtrack

The PBS television network contracted Jeree to produce the soundtracks for its concert series the New American Soundtrack. The concert features artists from the 50s through the 70s that included Aretha Franklin, Frankie Avalon, Frankie Valli, Sonny Gerace, The Penguins, Lou Christie, Little Anthony & Imperials, The Impressions, Percy Sledge, Eddie Floyd, Jerry Butler, The Fleetwoods, Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night, Eddie Holman, Little Richard, Barbara Mason, The Skyliners, Tommy James & The Shondells, The Platters, Gene Chandler, The Spaniels, Jerry Butler, The Jordanairres, Judy Collins, The Miracles, Freda Payne, Gloria Gaynor, Thelma Houston, The Tempations and others. Don Gavin played guitar at several of those concerts and did post production mixes on the recordings that include the following releases:

2002 This Land Is Your Land: The Folk Years
2003 This Land Is Your Land Live: The Folk Years
2004 Superstars of Seventies Soul: Live [Sony]
2004 Get Down Tonight: The Disco Explosion
2005 Old School Soul Party Live [DVD]
2005 Magic Moments: The Best of 50's Pop [DVD]
2007 Legends Of Country [DVD]
2007 Motown: The Early Years
2007 British Beat Live
2007 Movie Songs Live 

The Reeds

Jerry Reed passed away at age 78 on September of 2000. His wife Donna died 90 days later. Their son Bruce founded the Brewsters Ice Cream franchise.

Don Garvin

Don Garvin kept the studio running serving as both the manager and chief engineer. He upgrade the studio in 2002 with digital equipment in 2002 and a 48 track board. Don Gavin has designed and built custom soundboards, custom recording consoles for Nile Rodger and other arists. He has provided engineering consultation to Estey Magnatone in Harmony, PA on the manufacture of amps, guitars and organs.
Q - Dancin' Man

Jerry's Curb Service
Jerry Reed 1978 -Photo by Harry Frye
Don Garvin
The Shad Three

Q - Dancin' Man 1977

Nathan Davis
Diamond Reo
La Flavour
Granati Brothers
King Cool
B.E. Taylor Group
Kenny Blake 1985 Green Dolphin Records
Creep Show
Billy Price -Danger Zone
American Soundtrack
Jeree Control Room