Singer and bassist Jimmie Ross has been singing soulful R&B songs for Pittsburgh and national audiences for over 40 years. As a member of the Jaggerz he sang lead on their first single "Gotta Find My Way Back Home". His voice is also heard on the Jaggerz smash hit single "The Rapper" and on their three album releases: "Introducing the Jaggerz" (Gamble Records 1969), "We Went to Different Schools Together" (Kama Sutra 1970), and "Come Again" (Wooden Nickel 1975). Ross joined the Skyliners in 1975 performing around the country with them for 7 years. He appeared on their 1978 Tortoise Records album "The Skyliners." Teaming with Cathy Cooper he formed the duo Copper and Ross to release the blue-eyed soul album "Bottom Line" on MCA / Sweetcity Records in 1983.
Ross has been singing with the Jaggerz since they reunited in the late 1980s. The Jaggerz released their fifth album "And the Band Played On" in 1988 and the album "Re-Rapped in 2001". Ross released his solo compilation album "Full Circle" in 2010. During his tours of the county he has appeared with the Beach Boys, the Supremes, the Four Tops, the Temptations, Little Anthony and the Imperials, the Marcels and other acts.
Jimmie Ross was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001 as a member of the Skyliners and is honored as a member of the Beaver County Musicians Hall of Fame.
Jimmie Ross grew up in the Alliquipa area, played tuba in the high school band and graduated from Hopewell High School in 1964. He took up the bass guitar teaching himeself. Jimmie attended Youngstown State College before perusing a music career.
Jimmie Ross and drummer Jim Puguliano first played together in an Aliquippa band called the Bell Boys that was formed by guitarist Vic Rangle. Meanwhile guitarist Benny Faiella left the band Gary and The Jewel Tones in 1964 to form the Jaggerz with singer Donnie Iris, Ken Koodrich and George Sabol. When Koorich and Sabol quit the band, Donnie and Benny recruited Jimmie Ross and Jim Puguliano into the Jaggerz. Bill Maybray and Tom Davies joined a few months later. The Jaggerz began their career playing 6 nights a week at Club Natuale in Beaver, Falls. In 1966 they played the entire summer at the Sunken Bar at Geneva on the Lake, Ohio. They returned to Genava in the summer of 1967 to play the season at the Cove.
Working steadily the Jaggerz polished their act into a two hour Vegas style show. Performing tight R&B/Soul tunes they danced in synchronized steps. The highlight of their shows was a number where they tossed each other through their legs while tossing the mics over their shoulders.
The Jaggerz became Pittsburgh's most popular band packing clubs throughout Western Pennsylvania. They played at the Beaver County venues Club Naturale, Morry's Speakeasy, and Villas. In the Pittsburgh area they gigged at Mancini's, the Fountain, the Yellow Submarine, the Thunderbird Boatel and the Staircase Lounge. Their regular Wednesday night gig as at Mancini's in the Rocks. On Saturdays people lined up around the block to get into the Staircase Lounge in downtown Pittsburgh to see Jaggerz.
Working with their manager Joe Rock (of the Skyliners) and John Pergel the Jaggerz signed a recording contact with producers Gamble & Huff in 1967. The Jaggerz released their first album, “Introducing the Jaggerz” in 1969 on Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff's label Gamble Records. The album featured the regional hit song "Gotta Find My Way Back Home” written by the Steals Brothers (Mystro & Lyric) of Aliquippa. Jimmie sang that song for the Jaggerz first ever television appearance on the KDKA-TV Terry McGovern show in 1969.
The Jaggerz scored a number 2 national hit with “The Rapper" from their second album “We Went to Different Schools Together”. It was released in 1970 on Kama Sutra Records. Ross and the Jaggerz received a gold records for “the Rapper” which sold 2.5 million copies. The Jaggerz appeared on Dick Clark's America Bandstand and make appearance around the country.
In 1973 the Jaggerz performed on the novelty album "Through The Ages". They backed up DJ Wolfman Jack who sang ""The Rapper". It was released on Wooden Nickel Records a subsidiary of RCA.
Around 1974 singer Franki Czuri and keyboard player Hermie Granati joined the Jaggerz. They joined with Jimmie Ross, Donnie Iris, Bill Maybray, and Jim Pugliano on the Jaggerz their fourth album “Come Again” released in 1975 on Wooden Nickel Records. After Jimmie Ross left to join the Skyliners in 1975 the Jaggerz broke up.
Ross joined the Skyliners in 1975 after two of the original members, Wally Lester and Jack Taylor left. Joe Rock, who managed both the Jaggerz and Skyliners advised Jimmie to leave the Jaggerz. Jimmie sang with the Skyliners original members Jimmy Beaumont and Janet Vogel along with new member Bobby Sholes. The Skyliners appeared at 1950s revival shows around the country. In 1977 Ross recorded with the Skyliners on their Tortoise International Records album release titled “The Skyliner”s. Two singles were released: “Oh How Happy” and “The Love Bug”. Singer Cathy Cooper joined the Skyliners after the death of Janet Vogel in 1980. Ross sang with the Skyliners through 1980.
Cooper and Ross
In 1982 Cathy Cooper left the Skyliners join with Jimmie Ross to form the singing duo Cooper and Ross. They signed with Sweet City Records / MCA and released the album "Bottom Line". The album was produced by Carl Mardui, who had produced the hit records of Wild Cherry and Q. The album was recorded at the Recording Connection in Cleveland and Hitsville/Motown in Los Angeles. The backing band members were former Sweet Breeze drummer Donnie Marsico, Jimmy John Sicliano on bass, and Jack Graham and Bob Fraser on guitar. It was a great blue-eyed soul effort in the style of Boz Scaggs. They made their first appearance at Bobby Rubino's in Station Square on January 13, 1983. Cooper and Ross became a fixture in the Atlantic City Casinos with a 36 week appearance at the Trump Plaza and extended engagements at Harrah's. They worked together for five years appearing often at Great Gatspy's .
After Cooper and Ross broke up, Ross moved to Florida. He returned to the Pittsburgh area in 1989 and put the Jaggerz back together. Jimmie Ross and the Jaggerz reunited on June 23, 1989 for a 25th anniversary show in the Golden Dome at Beaver County Community College. The reunited band included the original members Jimmie Ross, Jim Pugliano, Benny Faiella, Bill Maybray along with organist Fred Dulu, sax player Robbie Klein and vocalist Donnie Marsico. After that appearance they decided to keep playing. The Jaggerz have performed 20 to 25 shows a year since then and have recorded again.
The Jaggerz released their their fifth album "And the Band Played On" in 1998. The All Music Guide calls it "Heartfelt soul music". Performing on this release were Jimmie Ross, Eugene "Benny" Faiella, Jim "Pugs" Pugliano, Dennis McAbee, and Jamie Peck Former member Hermie Granati rejoined the band writing the orchestrations and performing on keyboards and vocals. Jointly produced by Jimmie DavRoss and Hermie the album was recorded at Dave World Studios in Ambridge. It features the Jaggerz arrangements of classic R&B tunes and Hermie Granati's original tune original tune "Feels Good".
The Jaggerz released their sixth album "Re-Rapped By Request" in 2001. Recorded at Dave World Studios it features a mix of the most requested songs that the Jaggerz have performed over their career including "Dancin' in the Streets", "Some Kind of Wonderful", "The Love I Never Had" and a live version of the "Rapper" recorded at the A.J. Palumbo Center.
Jimmie Ross released the solo compilation album "Full Circle" in 2010. It features tracks that he sang lead on from several Jaggerz albums including "Gotta Find My Way Back Home", "Let Me Be Your Man" and "Love Music"
And the Band Plays On...
The Jaggerz lost two of their original members. Guitarist and vocalist William Maybray Sr.died of cancer in December of 2004 and drummer James Pugliano passed away in June of 2010. Founding members Jimmie Ross and Benny Faiella continue performing the soulful sounds of the Jaggerz. The 2012 roster of the Jaggerz also includes Dennis McAbee, Hermie Granati, Paul Martello, and horn section Ron Levi, Rich Mansfield and Jim Sheppard