Ah! Leah! – Donnie Iris | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#29) & Mainstream Rock (#19); 1981

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

As an undergrad at Slippery Rock College, Dominic Ierace took some life-changing steps: inspired by the records of Ray Charles he started singing seriously for the first time since his voice changed, he picked up the guitar again (bleeding fingers had prompted him to give it up in high school, and he formed a band. The short-lived Donnie and The Donnelles were succeeded by the Jaggerz. After five failed singles for Gamble Records, the Jaggerz signed with Kama Sutra and scored a #2 smash with The Rapper. Post-Jaggerz, Donnie formed The Cruisers with Mark Avsec, who had played keyboards for Wild Cherry of Play That Funky Music fame. The two wrote songs in Donnie’s basement; including an ode to his second wife, Leah Iris Jones. After all the major labels passed on Ah! Leah!, it was released by Midwest National out of Cleveland and began making noise at radio. The buzz prompted MCA Records to pick it up for national distribution and Donnie had his first solo hit.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Mark Avsec

Lyrics Written by:

  • Mark Avsec
  • Donnie Iris