A very minor figure on the recording scene, although a somewhat notorious figure on the Chicago club scene for years, Jo Jo Adams, whose appellation of Doctor did not come with a reputable medical degree, was born somewhere around 1918 in Alabama who got his start singing gospel before turning to off-color performances around the Windy City in the 1940’s.

He was typical of the slightly charming hustler who populated such places where he served as the MC in addition to showcasing his own “talents” on stage, which consisted of telling jokes, acting in skits and dancing, as well as singing, but mainly being as ostentatious as possible, helped by his brightly colored suits.

Despite a lack of discernable vocal talent worthy of recording, he managed to get a number of companies interested in his services Hy-Tone and then Aladdin when he moved temporarily to Los Angeles. Upon his return to Chicago he cut sides for Aristocrat soon after it began, though the records came out under saxophonist Tom Archia’s name.

After a long absence from the studio, but a long stint working at The Flame Lounge before another new Chicago label, Chance Records, got some sides out of him in 1952 followed by Parrot Records the next year. Those were his final recordings although he remained a fixture on the club scene until his retirement from show business in 1958. He died thirty years after that in his early 70’s.

His records may have only been tangentially connected to rock, but he was a colorful character on the periphery of the scene for years.
DR. JO JO ADAMS DISCOGRAPHY (Records Reviewed To Date On Spontaneous Lunacy):

(Aristocrat 802; March, 1948)
A far too confusing, and conflicting, storyline that finds Adams vacillating between upbeat enthusiasm, downcast outlooks and bawdy refrains, none of which make much sense thematically or musically despite Tom Archia’s best efforts in the latter department. (2)

(Chance 1127; November, 1952)
After a long absence from the recording scene, Adams shows he hasn’t changed with the times, and while his enthusiasm hasn’t waned, that only goes so far, despite the song being constructed well enough it’s too stylistically uncertain to make an impression. (2)

(Chance 1127; November, 1952)
A simple tale wherein Adams gets to enthusiastically praise his girl with the appropriate vigor is helped by a nice sax solo, and though otherwise this is well out of date, his determination alone makes it easier to accept its shortcomings. (3)