A gorilla-ish cocaine addiction aborted Sherrick's, a native of Sacramento, CA promising career. He joined the Motown family by hooking up with Kagny & the Dirty Rats, whose other members were Michael Dunlap, Jerry Thompson, and Cliff Liles, the son of Raynoma Gordy-Singleton. Raynoma worked a deal for them with Motown. Liles, Thompson, and Dunlap were ex-members of Apollo who cut one album for Gordy Records in 1979 before the axe fell. James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, was rumored to be producing Kagny, but the deal never got done and after one album, Kagny & the Dirty Rats (1983), the company dropped them.
But Raynoma was smitten by their silky voiced lead singer's 6' 4" handsome looks and his even bigger potential as a recording artist/entertainer. What she didn't know at the time was his thirst for cocaine and his involvement with other women; Lynne, for one, had children by Sherrick. Acting as mentor and occasional lover, she finagled the strong tenor gigs as backing vocalist on Motown sessions and began cutting tracks for a solo album.
But the project became a time bomb and the relationship stormy as Sherrick's habit of disappearing, unnoticed at first, became an issue. Raynoma persevered on until 1985 when Jay Lasker fired her and killed the prospect of Sherrick's career with Motown. Through Benny Medina (ex member of Apollo), then working at Warner Bros., she got WB interested in the project. Sherrick's problem only grew, bringing on speculation that someone at Motown knew about the singer's illness; hence, the reason for the cooling towards Kagny, Sherrick's solo project, and Raynoma's dismissal, because as long as she was around he would be close by.
Raynoma often got frantic calls from Sherrick begging her to bring money to destitute parts of Los Angeles to pay off dealers who often held her car (which he took off with) as collateral for debts. It got plug-ugly one night when he was beaten and shot in the pelvis. She found out about Lynne but learned even more about Sherrick's other world at the hospital, when she met Rita, who had made recent plans to marry Sherrick. Somehow, Raynoma kept the drama away from the people she dealt with at Warner Bros who were in the process of drawing up a contract for the singer and their jointly owned production company.
Sherrick attended rehab sessions while finishing up Just Call (1987). Two singles from it charted in the United Kingdom: "Just Call" (number 30 U.K.) and "Let's Be Lovers Tonight" (Top 75). Sherrick set out on a promo tour across America where the album and singles' success was minimal, to pump up the interest. But he went on cocaine-finding missions in every city on the itinerary; on one journey, in the middle of the tour, he didn't return and missed subsequent engagements. By now everyone knew of his "problem." When he returned, the work on a second album began (and ended) when he took off with thousands in advance money. The album was never completed and Raynoma washed her hands of the problematic singer. (Raynoma Gordy-Singleton devoted an entire chapter to Sherrick in her riveting The Untold Story: Berry, Me, and Motown. He disappeared in 1988 and didn't surface until 1999, apparently drug-free and working on new material. But the comeback ended tragically, when he died in Los Angeles, January 22, 1999 of unknown causes. ~ Andrew Hamilton, Rovi