Pennsylvania’s Donnie Iris worked with the bands Jaggerz and Wild Cherry in the 1970’s before joining up with the Cruisers for his solo effort. You may remember the Jaggerz song “The Rapper” and the Wild Cherry song “Play That Funky Music”, both of which Iris wrote. As a solo artist, Iris released his first album, Back on the Streets, in 1980. This was the album that featured the hit song “Ah! Leah”, which ultimately peaked at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 10 on the Rock Charts. Another song that did fairly well on the U.S. Mainstream Rock charts was the song “Sweet Merilee”. Donnie’s follow-up album, King Cool (1981), also did well, featuring the hit songs “Love Is like a Rock” and “Tough World”. Other 80’s Iris songs you might remember include “Do You Compute?” and “Injured in the Game of Love”.
The band took a bit of a hiatus from 1985 until 1992 as far as new material was concerned, although they did remain active. The band continued producing into the 2010’s with the release of a Christmas album titled Ah! Leluiah!. Iris was known to be active well at the time of this writing as well (2016), having just recently performed at the Hard Rock Café in Pittsburgh to celebrate his newly revealed plague. At the time of this writing, the Donnie Iris Discography was as follows:
- 1980: Back on the Streets
- 1981: King Cool
- 1982: The High and the Mighty
- 1983: Fortune
- 1985: No Muss...No Fuss
- 1992: Out of the Blue
- 1993: Footsoldier in the Moonlight
- 1997: Poletown
- 1998: Live! At Nick's Fat City
- 1999: Together Alone
- 2001: 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Donnie Iris
- 2004: 25 Years
- 2006: Ellwood City
- 2008: You Can't Really Miss Me If I Never Go Away EP
- 2009: Ah! Live!
- 2010: Ah! Leluiah!