Thomas Jefferson High School  Logo
Student News College Center Pupil Services & Attendance Dress Code ASB Leadership Senior Activities Demo Alumni
Events Print Shop Teacher Prep Academy (TPA) WASC School History Famous Demos
Teachers Administrators Counselors Resources
Parent Center
Partners
Football
English Language Arts Career Technical Education History JROTC Mathematics Science World Languages

Famous Demos

Dancer / Choreographer / Entertainer

Television / Film Personality

  • Woody Strode – (Actor, Football Player) Veteran of 30 films including "The Ten Commandments −1956", "Spartacus −1960", "Posse" −1993 (See Football)
  • Mablean Ephriam – Television Personality – "Judge Mablean"
  • Merry Clayton – Actress, Singer –  Eight Episode of "Cagney and Lacey", Acted in "Maid to Order" with Alley Sheedy (See Singer below)
  • Juanita Moore – Actress  – The 4th African American nominated for an Oscar. Participated in over 50 movies; best known for her role as the mother in the movie "Imitation of Life"
  • Matthew Beard (American actor) – Actor (Our gang Little Rascals Series)

Television / Film Production, Direction, Design

  • Iwao Takamoto – Animator, Design the character image of the Hanna-Barbera Production cartoon Scooby-Doo.
  • John Meehan Known as "Francis"–Jefferson Plays,U.S.C Architecture,then Motion Picture Art Director. Won Academy Awards for Art Direction for the films: "The Heiress","Sunset Blvd","20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", Television Art Direction:Emmy Nomination-G.E.Theatre. Graduated Class of 1922.

Politician / Judicial

  • Ralph Bunche –  Educator, UN mediator on Palestine and Nobel Peace Prize Winner
  • Thelton Henderson –  Federal Judge in the Northern District of California.
  • Willard H. Murray, Jr. –  California State Assembly Member 1988–1996 (District 52); California Institute for the Preservation of Jazz. Current director of the Water Replenishment District 1. Father of Former State Senator Kevin Murray ref: Testimony of Buddy Collette & Marl Young
  • Augustus F. Hawkins –  U.S. House of Representatives from California's 21st and 29th district from 1963–1991; California assembly from 1935–1963
  • David W. Williams –  Judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of California; first African American Federal Judge from states west of the Mississippi.
  • William R Clay –  Appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to Superior Court judge in October 1976
  • Earl C. Gay (1902–75), Los Angeles City Council member, 1933–45

Journalist

  • Stanley Crouch – Syndicated Columnist and Novelist. Created nine Non-Fiction novel and 2 Fiction novels. He is a Controversial anti-rap critic; His novel "Ain't No Ambulances For No Nigguhs Tonight" was typical writings against the non-sophisticated black man.

Composer / Writer /Music Director

  • Floyd Dixon – Songwriter, Singer –  Hit Songs "Telephone Blues", "Call Operator 210" and "Hey Bartender", the latter enjoying wide exposure by the release of 1980 hit "The Blues Brothers".
  • Roy Ayers – Jazz Composer and Vibraphone player –  Arranged Musical Score for 1973 movie "Coffy" and classic albums "Running Away 1976" and "Mystic Voyage 1975".
  • Richard Berry – Songwriter, Singer –  Wrote Classic Hit Song "Louie Louie" made popular by The Kingsmen.
  • Rickey Minor – Emmy-nominated music director, composer, and music producer; widely known for the title 'Music Director" for television series The Tonight Show with Jay LenoAmerican Idol and Don't Forget The Lyrics!
  • Barry White – Record Producer, Singer Song Writer; Five times Grammy Award Winner; attended Jefferson for sophomore and junior year.
  • Horace Tapscott – Jazz Piano player and composer Subject of UCLA Jazz Archive called the Horace Tapscott Collection. Creator of "The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (P.A.P.A.)".
  • Jesse Belvin – Songwriter, Singer –  Co-Wrote "Goodnight My Love" used to end Alan Freed Show; co-credited as one of writers of "Earth Angel" made popular by The Penguins.
  • Johnny "Guitar" Watson – American Blues and Funk guitarist/singer.
  • Young Jessie – Songwriter, Singer – Famous for the hit song "Mary Lou".

Singer – Musician

Singers – Groups

  • The Penguins – 3 group members – Curtis Williams, Bruce Tate, and Ray Brewster – The Group sang the Original Song "Earth Angel"
  • The Platters – 3 original group members – Gaynel Hodge, Alex Hodge, Cornell Gunter and 1 alumni, Ray Brewster
  • The Coasters – 1 group member – Cornell Gunter
  • The Cadillacs – 1 group member – Ray Brewster
  • The Hollywood Flames −1 group member- Ray Brewster
  • Mighty Clouds of Joy – 1 group member – Johnny Martin – Recorded over 25 albums and received two Grammy Award and a host of other awards
  • Etta James – Blues singer – Famous for hit song "At Last"
  • Ernie Andrews – Jazz Blues Singer
  • Merry Clayton – (Singer, Actress) Solo and Backup. Recorded "Gimme Shelter" duet with Mick Jagger. "Who can I count on" with Bobby Darin. (Also see Television/film)
  • O.C. Smith – Jazz Singer, Minister Performed with Count Basie Orchestra; he recorded the first version of the song "That Life" made famous by Frank Sinatra. He had numerous hit songs in his long career.
  • Mel Walker – Lead Singer with the Johnny Otis Orchestra " No 1 hits "Mistrustin' Blues" and "Cupid Boogie"
  • Cornell Gunter – Lead Singer – Original member of the The Platters and a member of The Coasters singing group. Transferred to Manual Arts his senior year.
  • Jennell Hawkins – Lead Singer – famous for her hit "Moments to Remember"
  • Ivie Anderson – Lead Singer – Performed with Duke Ellington orchestra between 1931 and 1942
  • Arthur Lee Maye – of Arthur Lee Maye and the Crowns, was lead singer of the pioneering groups of the Doo Wop genre in the early 1950s.
  • Richard Berry -Singer, songwriter, musician. Most famous for writing Louie Louie, Berry performed with numerous Los Angeles doo-wop groups including The Flairs.

Sports

Jazz Era Music Teacher and Mentors