2015 In Memoriam – “Daddy Jack” Fryer

1515 FryerIn these final days of 2015, we pause to look back at 15 who influenced Little Rock’s cultural scene who left us in 2015.

Though his vocations ranged from furniture sale to the financial industry to farming, it was as a singer that “Daddy Jack” Fryer made an impact on the cultural scene.

While in college at the University of Arkansas, he received the nickname “Daddy Jack” for his receding hairline. The nickname stuck and would later be used in a series of bands.

Daddy Jack loved singing, whether it was in a Michigan restaurant, a church choir or fronting a band at a gig.

Though he had spent most of his life in a church choir (starting at an early age), he never learned how to read music.  Whether as a solo or part of a choir, Daddy Jack sang the notes he wanted to sing the way he wanted to sing them — and figured out a way to make it work.

Among his bands rock ‘n roll, R&B and blues bands over the years were Daddy Jack and the University Soul Association, Daddy Jack and the Seven Screamers, and Daddy Jack and the All Stars.

A man who struggled with personal shortcomings, Daddy Jack believed in the redemption. He devoted the last few years of his life to prison and recovery ministries.  Even when he was facing his own challenges, he still had a quick wit and a big heart.

It was fitting that his memorial involved both a worship service at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church (where he had spent countless hours in the choir) and a reception at the Country Club of Little Rock featuring music by Johnny Roberts and the All Stars.