Jackie Lavant and the Fashions
Jackie Lavant and the Fashions

Excerpt from I Likes To Do It by The People’s Choice (Jamie CD 4012)

Jackie Lavant and the Fashions’ recording career emerged like the cart going before the horse. She and her sister Bobbi were the original headliners in a traveling show that performed at clubs, including army-base non-commissioned officers’ clubs, throughout North America, as far away as the Arctic Circle.

Their keyboard player was Frankie Brunson; their drummer was David Thompson and their bass player was “Punchy” Andrews. When Philadelphia producer Bill Perry went to see the show at Fort Dix outside of Philadelphia, according to drummer Thompson, “he caught the reaction of the crowd, which came out and cheered. He approached us about doing a recording project. We didn’t give it much thought. We hadn’t considered recording ‘til then. That was the beginning of the People’s Choice.”

The song that got such acclaim was “I Likes To Do It,” which became an international hit because it got audiences off their feet and onto the dance floor from Greenland to their home town of Philadelphia.

“The song was made for the girls,” Thompson admitted. Their shows, according to drummer Thompson, were “a lot of jazz, a lot of show tunes. I hate to say it but it was a lot like vaudeville” -- especially with the girls’ mother, Connie Mills, doing a turn as a comedian. Their father was their manager and he kept the group busy on an international circuit that included Canada as well as the United States.

“The girls did some tunes, Punchy sang some tunes calypso style, the mother did her comedy, and at the end there was a grand finale and we just rocked the house. Our whole thing was that when the girls weren’t on and the mother wasn’t on we just had fun. It was all improv. We were used to doing riffs.

“On the side we did funk,” Thompson recalled thirty years later, when Brunson chimed in, calling it “just messing around.”

The People’s Choice “I Likes To Do It” came out in April 1971 as Phil-LA of Soul 349, followed nine months later in January 1972 by Jackie Lavant and the Fashions’ “What Goes Up” b/w “I Don't Mind Doin' It,” co-written and produced by notable Philadelphia musical talent, Morris Bailey, Phil-LA of Soul 354.



Philly Soul
Philly Soul