Music has a history of family acts, or acts with family members in the group. The Jackson 5, The Osmonds, and The Staple Singers are a few examples. For a brief time in the 1980’s, one of the biggest pop, R&B and dance acts was the Wolfgramm family. The Wolfgramms? Nah…most of us know them better as The Jets. Their second hit, and one of their biggest singles, “Crush On You,” is the 80’s Mania Monday song of the day.
The Jets were the eight oldest Wolfgramm children born to Maikolo “Mike” and Vaké Wolfgramm, natives of the island of Tonga. Those children were: Leroy, Eddie, Eugene, Haini, Rudy, Kathi, Liz, and Moana. It is said that each of them could play more than one instrument. Signed to MCA after being discovered performing in their hometown of Minneapolis, their debut album featured three top ten R&B hits: “Curiosity,” “You Got It All” and today’s song. The latter two also made the pop top ten. A second album, Magic, was released in 1987 and featured three more top ten pop hits. By the release of their third album, Eugene had left the group to form the duo Boys Club, and the hits had dried up. By 1990, the group had dissolved.
During the nineties, some of the younger siblings (the family had seventeen children, fifteen by birth and two (Eddie and Eugene, were adopted) joined the group as replacements for the original members. The group also started to perform religious music at that time. Still, the group with some combination of new and/or original members would reunite off and on throughout the following years, even performing a 25th Anniversary show in Minneapolis back in 2010.
For that 1986-1988 period, The Jets were one of the most popular dance pop acts in music. Their prime may have come and gone in a flash, but their hits will live on. I hope you enjoy “Crush On You,” and as always, thanks for listening and reading.