Geoffrey Turton is a Birmingham-born British singer who recorded under the stage name Jefferson during the 60s music era A former toolmaker, he started as a lead singer and guitarist of The Rockin’ Berries, whose popular material consisted of covers. He started his solo career after the Rockin’ Berries dissolved in 1968. After his first released single failed to chart, Turton decided to change his name to Jefferson, at the suggestion of Piccadilly Records head John Schroeder. He achieved fame through follow-up release “Colour of My Love”, which became a hit in his homeland and also in the US. Jefferson was finding some more success in his career when he figured in a car accident, and from them on he was out of the spotlight and went on a hiatus. He reunited with the Rockin’ Berries in the late 1970s, still using the name Jefferson, and in the 90s the group performed and toured together.
Early life of Jefferson and as one of the Rockin’ Berries
British singer Jefferson was born on March 11, 1944 in Birmingham, England. In some of his recordings, Jefferson also used his real name Geoffrey Turton. In 1961, young Turton became a member of the pop band The Rockin’ Berries where he was the lead singer and lead guitarist. The Rockin Berries had hits across the U.K. and Europe and were best remembered by doing covers which Turton did much of the picking of songs to be played. Nonetheless, the band split in 1968.
Pursuing solo career as Jefferson
After Rockin’ Berries’ dissolution, Turton subsequently began pursuing a solo career. In early 1968, he was signed to Piccadilly Records and issued his debut single “Don’t You Believe It” b/w “I’ve Got to Tell Her.” Unfortunately, it failed to sell. John Schroeder (supervisor of Piccadilly Records) advised Turton to change his name to Jefferson.
On October 1968, he released his first single as Jefferson called “Montage.” But it had the same fate as “Don’t You Believe It.” The follow-up single “Colour of My Love” was released the following year. It made no significant impression in the US, however it ranked considerably well in the U.K. peaking at #22. After its success, it was followed with an LP and his third single “Baby Take Me in Your Arms” which this time did not become a hit in the U.K. However, it registered on the US charts, reaching #23.
In the midst of the single’s success, Turton figured in a car accident where he was severely hurt. As a result, he was confined in the hospital for six months, thus he was not able to do any live appearances. He was later discharged and recorded his second album which was never released. He went on hiatus in the U.K. but started being active in the US with his tour dates, thanks to the success “Baby Take Me in Your Arms.” Turton later signed with Polygram Records which he issued an album and a single “I Love You This Much.” The song was later redone by Mouth & MacNeal, a pop duo from the Netherlands. The remake became a hit across Europe.
Between late 70’s to 1990’s, the Rockin’ Berries did a comeback, embarking on a tour. With his given name, Turton was also doing solo shows in the U.K. In 2001, Castle Records issued a compilation album called The Colour of My Love. It contains Turton’s previously unreleased songs.