Yesterday we were all sad to learn of the passing of Sherman Hemsley, best known for playing George Jefferson on All In The Family and The Jeffersons. He’d already made his mark on Broadway in the musical Purlie by the time Norman Lear asked him to appear as the bigoted Archie Bunker’s cantankerous black neighbor, but in addition to his stage and screen successes, Hemsley was a fan of psychedelic and progressive rock.
I knew I liked him.
Hemsley once allegedly danced his way on to the set of The Dinah Shore Show to Gentle Giant’s “Proclamation,” then proceeded to tell Shore and her audience all about the British band. He told Ed Condran of the Bucks County Courier Times last year, “I can’t wait for the new Yes album.” And somewhere in Jon Anderson’s garage, one would assume, there are tapes from an album the diminutive former Yes singer recorded with the equally diminutive Hemsley in the late 1990s.
Then there’s this clip of him dancing to Nektar’s “Show Me The Way” on an episode of The Jeffersons.
Prog on, Mr. Jefferson!
It’d be cynical to expect that Jon Anderson/Sherman Hemsley album to see the light of day now, but if you have any leads, let Don Becker know on Twitter @UnwinnableDonB.