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Tuesday September 27, 2022

Jerry Jestin


While growing up in Canada, Jerry was around square dancing a lot. His parents have been dancing since the early 50's. Early in his life, Jerry played the piano and sang in many amateur shows. He and his sister Loretta learned to square dance from Frank Dorward. Frank knew Jerry could sing so he handed a record to Jerry and told him to practice. Jerry learned the singing call and has been calling ever since. His first dance was in 1967.

Jerry has always liked performing. Sometimes he would call duets with his sister. After a time Jerry felt that he had gone as far as he could in Canada as a full time caller. He began looking south, across the border. In 1979, Jerry relocated to Texas, attending Texas A&M University while continuing to expand his calling career. He majored in Physical Education and Health.

In 1980, while calling and attending school, he met and married Janice Lee Graham, whose father was a local caller in San Antonio. Jerry and Janice moved from College Station, Texas to the Dallas/Ft.Worth area where his home program was expanded to cover various levels of square and round dancing. Jerry transferred to the University of Texas at Arlington, to continue his education on a part time basis, where he found time to get some voice training.

In 1984, Jerry and Janice became the resident square and round dance and clogging instructors at a RV park in Yuma, Arizona. By 1985, they were working at two parks, offering a full program for all levels of the various dances. From 1990-1994, Jerry and Janice worked as the resident Caller/Cuer/Directors at Lionshead Resort outside of West Yellowstone, Montana. During the summer months they taught squares, rounds, and clogging and coordinated the hiring of guest callers and cuers. When Jerry is not in Yuma, he travels to other areas in the USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada calling festivals and dances.

Starting in the fall of 2007 Jerry went back to Texas A & M University to finish his degree while calling on the weekends. He continues calling in Yuma AZ from Jan. thru Mar and back to University in the fall until he completes his degree.

Jerry has worked for several Square Dance record labels. First he recorded for Circle D Records, releasing "Come Monday". Next, while recording for Riverboat Records, he released two patter records and two singing calls, "Listen to the Music" and "Pictures". Next Jerry recorded for Jo-Pat/ESP Records. His releases included "Bummin Around", "I Don't Hurt Anymore", "It Ain't Necessarily So", "I'll Come A Runnin' to You", "Next Thing Smokin'", "That's My Story", "Honky Tonk Attitude", "Tall, Tall Trees", "Seminole Wind", "Shindig in the Barn", "Just Another Polka", and "Hightech Redneck". He has also made special appearances on Sting Records – "Cheatin' Heart" and on Global Records – "Come Monday" and "Bye, Bye Love".

Upon the closing of the JoPat Record label in January of 2003, Jerry began recording full time for Global Records. He has many hits with Global including, "I Saw Her Standing There", "Follow Me", "It's Cool To Be A Fool", "Good Friends", and "Lookin Out My Back Door". As times changed in the recording industry Global Records stopped producing music.

Jerry then started recording for TNT records releasing "King Of The Road", "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue", and "Have You Ever Seen The Rain". After that Jerry joined Gramophone Production from Germany as a staff caller. His releases include "It Just Comes Natural", If You're Going Thru Hell', "Deeper Than The Holler", "Love Is On A Roll", and "Hi Diddle Diddle".

For listening and dancing, he also has various levels of dance tapes available.

Jerry and Janice have composed many round dances: "Way Too Sassy", "Memories Are Made of This", "Falling ", "Sugar Town", "Your Selfish Heart", "More", "Somebody Like You", "Steve McQueen", "Ivory Tower", and "When You Dance".

Jerry is well-known for his creative choreography, high-energy presentation, and use of a wide variety of music.