The Jaggerz, Iris' next band, were formed from the remains of several local bands. Though the band's big hit was "The Rapper," in actuality, the band began as an R&B revue. Outside of Pittsburgh, where songs like "Gotta Find My Way Back Home" and "(That's Why) Baby I Love You" (on Gambel Records) were radio favorites, this period did not bring much success to Iris or the band. Their next move was to Kama Sutra, where Iris' "The Rapper" was the first in a series of three hits the band enjoyed.
After the Jaggerz
broke up, Iris toured with Wild Cherry
, whose 1976 hit "Play That Funky Music" made them a hot property into the end of the decade. Unfortunately, Wild Cherry
was another one-hit wonder, and Iris was out of a job by 1980.
That same year, Iris teamed up with keyboard player Mark Avsec (ex-Wild Cherry
) for the first in a series of good albums for MCA; the single "Ah! Leah!" hit number 29 that year, and six second-rank singles charted during the next five years. Avsec and Iris' collaboration proved to be a good thing in both the songwriting and artist/producer department during this time. By the time of 1993's Footsoldier in the Moonlight, though, Iris' talent as a songwriter had apparently dried up and he was relying entirely on Avsec originals. ~ Jim Worbois, Rovi