’80s Pop Band The Jets
If you grew up listening to pop music in the ’80s, you’re sure to remember the catchy lyrics of The Jets. Eight of the 17 children of the Wolfgramm family were the original members of the band, and although the family moved many times throughout the United States while growing up, they stayed close to their Tongan and LDS roots. With so many children, the family always had plenty of members ready to join the band to make some psychedelic music.
“There was never a dull moment in the Wolfgramm house with so many personalities,” says Moana, the oldest of the family. The original eight members ranged from
The Jets topped the charts with their hits like “Crush on You,” “You Got It All,” and “Make It Real.” Their single “Rocket 2 U” was even nominated for a Grammy Award, and Disney’s cartoon Chip ’n Dale Rescue Rangers still features the original theme song sung by The Jets.
The band toured all over the world, making their mark on countries in Asia and Europe. They also frequently visited their homeland of the Kingdom of Tonga. In 1988, the members of the band began to break away when Eugene left The Jets to form a new duo called Boys Club. Eddie, Elizabeth, and Kathi also eventually left the band to pursue individual projects. Throughout the ’90s, the group continued to change as older members moved on and younger children joined the ranks.
In 1994, lead singer Elizabeth was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 22. After surgeries and medication, the cancer went into remission. The doctors sadly told Elizabeth that she would never be able to have children, but she soon married and miraculously has had six children with her husband, Mark Atuaia.
Later on, five younger members of the family created the soul group Twin City. A few of the sisters moved towards more religious music, and Elizabeth and Moana reunited to write a few songs for the 1995 Especially for Youth CD, Return with Honor. In 2006, sisters Elizabeth, Kathi, Moana, Jennifer, and Hinalei released a CD of religious music called My Sisters.
In 2010, the band announced that they would be having a 25th anniversary concert in their hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they were first discovered. They sang their original songs along with a few other ’80s classics. The band is currently working on its newest CD, Reunited, which features all of the original band members, five new arrangements of their best songs, and ten new songs. Even though most of the original members of the band are married and raising families of their own, they still carve time out of their busy schedules to make music and memories together.
Moana says, “I’ve learned that whether you are successful in the world’s eyes or not, if you know who you are, you will always be happy, and your music will always come from the heart.”