Jojo

Album: Middle Man (1979)
Charted: 17
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • In 1975, Boz Scaggs introduced us to "Lido," a drifter with a very singable name. Two albums, later, he gave us Jojo, the first hit song about a pimp ("fifty dollars, he'll get you all you want," "His baby stays high... he keeps her on the street").

    Scaggs wrote the song with David Foster and David Lasley, who was a backup singer on the track. Foster also co-wrote the Earth, Wind & Fire hit "After The Love Has Gone" around this time, and was on his way to becoming one of the top songwriter/producers of his generation. "The music was Foster; he just starts playing it and I start singing along with it and wrote the words," Scaggs said in our 2013 interview. "Then Lasley filled in some words, too. David Foster was writing some great R&B songs at the time, writing with Earth, Wind & Fire and others. He was just David Foster, he's just a genius."
  • There were plenty of first-call musicians on this track. Scaggs had been working with Paich (keyboards), David Hungate (bass), and Jeff Porcaro (drums) since before they formed Toto, and they all played on this along with their bandmate Steve Lukather (guitar). Lenny Castro also contributed percussion.
  • A disco version of this song was released as a 12" single in the US.
  • Scaggs made a video for this song, which wasn't common pre-MTV. Directed by Arnold Levine, it was a fairly basic performance video, with a nattily clad Scaggs singing amongst his bevy of musicians. Toto made similar videos around this time for some of their songs.

Comments: 6

  • Jj from United KingdomAccording to Bill Schnee, who engineered the track, David Hungate cancelled and was replaced by John Pierce on bass.
  • Darthcluster from GreeceI hoped JoJo was from the anime but I hoped too much...
  • Grinder from Los AngelesWell...not exactly, Mike. Of Boz' "hits" (debatable, but Top 20 is usually a pretty good gauge...) Jojo was actually his lowest charting "hit".

    But a great song, nonetheless...
  • Zabo from Pugh, Pa.Jojo was a bad dude. The kind you wouldn’t want to call a friend. Jojo was a tormented soul and treated his women real bad. Jojo was the type of dude that was a predator. Probably a New York City bad ass.
  • Markantney from Biloxi, MsJul 2014,

    Out of his many great songs, this is in the top 3. I think he's never received his just due because he's probably too Soulful to be "Pop" and not quite R&B enough to be Soul?

    He's one of the most underrated of alltime to me regardless.
  • Mike from Santa Barbara, CaThis single was one of Boz Scaggs biggest hits, and it reminded some of his fans of his previous single "Lodown." It's about life in the big city, and seems to be about its criminal elements.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Alice Cooper

Alice CooperFact or Fiction

How well do you know this shock-rock harbinger who's been publicly executed hundreds of times?

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside Story

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside StorySong Writing

The in-depth discussion about the making of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in the 1973 film.

Matt Sorum

Matt SorumSongwriter Interviews

When he joined Guns N' Roses in 1990, Matt helped them craft an orchestral sound; his mezzo fortes and pianissimos are all over "November Rain."

Scott Stapp

Scott StappSongwriter Interviews

The Creed lead singer reveals the "ego and self-fulfillment" he now sees in one of the band's biggest hits.

Danny Kortchmar

Danny KortchmarSongwriter Interviews

Danny played guitar on Sweet Baby James, Tapestry, and Running On Empty. He also co-wrote many hit songs, including "Dirty Laundry," "Sunset Grill" and "Tender Is The Night."

Dan Reed

Dan ReedSongwriter Interviews

Dan cracked the Top 40 with "Ritual," then went to India and spent 2 hours with the Dalai Lama.