Jerry Yates was four years old, when he first saw Elvis Presley perform live on Television. At that moment, he knew that was what he had to do for a living. However, not exactly...
Although Elvis' influence shaped Jerry's musical direction, and is still felt in much of his music, Jerry's mission is totally different, due to the fact that his name is officially,"Rev. Jerry Yates". Jerry is the owner of Jerry Yates Ministries, an itinerant music ministry.
Jerry travels, performs, and records as a solo artist, with just an acoustic guitar and a stomp board, on which he taps his feet to the music. He does also carry with him, an acoustic guitar amp, or a small, two speaker sound system, he can plug into, depending upon the situation.
His target audience is anyone, but primarily those belonging to the Baby Boomer Generation, and the generation before, who are, or have been the Blue Collar workers of society; those who haven't had many good breaks in life, and if they attend church at all, it's the small, rural Churches that dot the country side or lie in almost every hollow or valley, up and down the highways and byways of America. Therefore, the style of music Jerry plays and sings is Country Blues and Rockabilly, with some Old-time Gospel thrown in. Jerry writes most of his own material, with the exception of some of the familiar Old-Time Gospel songs.
The Roots Music Association, who publishes the Roots Music Report Radio Charts, had Jerry's song,"There's Peace From the Lord" in the number one position, on their Georgia Chart, for both April and May of 2007, and it is currently at number 5! The song has been on the Roots Gospel Chart, nationally, for 33 weeks, and stands at number 6!
Rev. Yates has been nominated for Acoustic Artist of the Year, Country Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, The Trailblazer Award, among others, and in 1994 he received the International Country Gospel Music Association's award for "New Male Vocalist of the Year, in Georgia. Since April of 2007, he has received four "Emerald Awards" from his radio promotions company, RhonBob Promotions, in Kodak TN. The Emerald Award is given for having one of the most played songs on the radio, for any given month. Jerry's four awards were for April/May; June, July, and August.
Jerry Yates is a God called Troubadour, with a commission to take and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world, and he would love to come where you are, to your Church, Festival, Country Fair, Corporate meeting or convention, coffeehouse, restaurant, Family Reunion, or any event for any occasion.
Jerry and his wife, Karen have been blessed with three children and four grandchildren
I play live in Churches, coffeehouses, festivals, country fairs, community meetings, senior centers, assisted living facilities, coprorate meetings, house concerts,etc. Iabsolutely love doing it! To me, everytime I get an opportunity to go somewhere and play and sing about Jesus to someone, it is a special moment!
My first influence was Elvis. When he was first getting started, you could actually hear the sound of his acoustic guitar. It was awesome, and he was an awesome rhythm guitarist! But it was his voice that really got deep down into me. Then there was Johnny Cash with his slightly off, deep baritone voice. He had a unique style of making his Martin guitar ring with Luther's 'Boom-Chick-A-Boom' rhythm that drove me wild.
Carl Perkins and Scotty Moore really influenced the Rockabilly side of me. I think they were the best at playing lead, Rockabilly guitar riffs.
As far as absolutely playing the fool out of a guitar, Doc Watson is still a major influence of mine. I can't begin to get close to what he does, but he still is a tremendous influence, because he inspires me to practice more.
My fingerstyle playing, using my right thumb to play alternating bass, was influenced by Merle Travis. I wanted to learn to "Travis Pick" for years, but just started doing it about five years ago. But there's no comparison to the way Merle did it.
My Country Blues picking was influenced by Lightnin' Hopkins! He was the MAN when it came to Country Blues, especially that little riff he would slide into, on the B and G strings at the third and fourth frets, in the key of E. You can hear that riff of Lightnin's in the music of John Fogerty, especially when he was with CCR, and Tony Joe White has really made his bread and butter with it. I love it!
I play a Breedlove and an Alvarez guitar, when I play live. I play through a Crate Acoustic Amp, that is equipt with its own effects, which can be changed, adjusted or shaped, about any way you want them. I usually use a lot of slapback. I also use a stomp board, with a built in mic that plugs right into my amp. A friend of mine, who works on my guitars, and sells me what I need, built the stomp board for me. I plug it in and tap my feet with the music, like Chris Smither does. I play a lot of small rooms, and I can usually get by with using the second channel in my guitar amp for my vocals. Sometimes I plug an external Kustom speaker in the back of my amp, or use the whole Kustom Profile 1 for my sound system. I'm actually waiting for shipment of a new Profile 11 system, which has twice the watts and effects. I sing through a Shure Beta SM58 mic. That's about it. I don't use much, because, the older I get, I don't see the point. Besides a lot of equipment gets really heavy and time consuming, as you age.
I can always use more bookings! Churches are my favorite places to play, and I only ask that a Love Offering be taken up for my pay. But I love playing anywhere I get an opportunity, and I always ask if I can offer my CDs for sale,
regardless of how much I get paid. I only charge $10.00 each.