Jackie Wilson

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer

Category: Performer

Inducted in: 1987

Inducted by: Peter Wolf

Nominated in: 1986   1987

First Eligible: 1986 Ceremony

Inducted into Rock Hall Revisited in 1989 (ranked #63) .

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Reet Petite (The Finest Girl You Ever Want to Meet) (1957)
Lonely Teardrops (1958)
(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher (1967)

Jackie Wilson @ Wikipedia

Jackie Wilson Videos


5 comments so far (post your own)


T.V. coverage of the Death 0f Jackie Wilson

Posted by Bill G on Tuesday, 12.20.11 @ 01:34am


Cleveland Dee Jay Norm N. Nite in an AUDIO interview with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer JACKIE WILSON (Mr Excitement)

Posted by Bill G. on Tuesday, 12.20.11 @ 01:37am

Being one of the most important black agents in turning R&B into soul, it's no wonder that Jackie Wilson had few equals in terms of vocal power and stagemenship which earned him the nickname, "Mr. Excitement". Few perfomers before or since have poessessed the charismatic stage presence of Wilson. He had a natural tenor and sang with the grace of Sam Cooke combined with the frenzied dynamism of James Brown. With all the flair at his disposal, Jackie could drive audiences to the brink of hysteria. A mainstay of the R&B charts from 1958 to 1968, Wilson had two dozen Top 40 singles, but his records didn't always show his artistic genius. Jackie was well known in the world of R&B even before he went solo when he replaced Clyde McPhatter in Billy Ward & The Dominos.

After his death in 1984, Jackie's influence continued as perfomers like Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, and Michael Jackson have drew from Jackie's powerful vocals and his dance moves.

Some of Jackie's best songs include "Lonely Tear Drops", "Baby Workout" and "Your Love Keep Lefting Me Higher And Higher".

Posted by Andrew on Wednesday, 11.7.12 @ 23:48pm


Tributes and legacy (Wikipedia)

In 1985, the soul/funk band the Commodores recorded "Nightshift" in memory of Wilson and soul singer Marvin Gaye, who had both died in 1984. Reaching No. 1 R&B and No. 3 pop in the US, and topping the Dutch singles chart, it was the group's biggest post-Lionel Richie hit.

Van Morrison also recorded a tribute song called "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile)" on his 1972 album Saint Dominic's Preview. This song was later covered by Dexy's Midnight Runners. When the track was performed on the British TV show Top of the Pops, a picture of darts player Jocky Wilson was used instead. This has often been speculated to be a mistake but Dexy's frontman Kevin Rowland stated that it was a deliberate joke by the band.

Michael Jackson honored Jackie Wilson at the 1984 Grammy Awards. Jackson dedicated his Album of the Year Grammy for Thriller to Wilson, saying, "In the entertainment business, there are leaders and there are followers. And I just want to say that I think Jackie Wilson was a wonderful entertainer...I love you and thank you so much."

Until Jackson's comments, Wilson's recording legacy had been dormant for almost a decade. Tarnopol owned Wilson's recordings due to Brunswick's separation from MCA, but the label had essentially closed down, essentially deleting Wilson's considerable recorded legacy. But when Jackson praised Wilson at the Grammys, interest in the legendary singer stirred, and Tarnopol released the first Wilson album (a two-record compilation) in almost nine years through Epic Records, Jackson's label at the time. Through Tarnopol's son, Wilson's music has become more available.
In the VH-1 5-part television special, Say It Loud: A Celebration of Black Music in America, fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Smokey Robinson and Bobby Womack both paid tribute to Wilson. Smokey explained that "Jackie Wilson was the most dynamic singer and performer that I think I've ever seen. Bobby added "He was the real Elvis Presley, as far as I'm concerned...and Elvis took a lot from him too."[30]
In his autobiography To Be Loved (named for one of the hit tunes he wrote for Wilson) Motown founder Berry Gordy stated that Wilson was "The greatest singer I've ever heard. The epitome of natural greatness. Unfortunately for some, he set the standard I'd be looking for in singers forever".
Wilson is mentioned in the song "Gone But Not Forgotten" sung by artist TQ, which is a song dedicated to the memory of famous musicians who have died. The lyric goes "..and Jackie, will you teach me how to glide across the stage?"
Wilson is mentioned in the rap song "Thugz Mansion" by Tupac Shakur. The lyric is:

"Seen a show with Marvin Gaye last night,
It had me shook, sippin' peppermint schnapps
With Jackie Wilson, and Sam Cooke."

Wilson scored a posthumous hit when "Reet Petite" reached number one in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Netherlands in 1986. This success was likely due in part to a new animated video made for the song, featuring a clay model of Wilson, that became hugely popular on television. The following year he hit the UK charts again with "I Get the Sweetest Feeling" (No. 3), and "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" (No. 15).
Rita Coolidge covered "Higher and Higher" in 1977; her version reached No. 2 on the US pop charts, earning a gold record.
In 1999, Wilson's original version of "Higher and Higher" and "Lonely Teardrops" were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame; both are on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Wilson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987; that same year, he was portrayed in the Ritchie Valens biopic La Bamba by Howard Huntsberry.
Wilson is referenced in the 1986 song "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A." by John Mellencamp.
Wilson and "Lonely Teardrops" are referenced in the 1993 song "Jupiter and Teardrop" by Grant Lee Buffalo on their debut album Fuzzy.
In 1988, his version of "To Be Loved" was featured in the film Coming to America, when Akeem and Lisa were falling in love. Akeem (Eddie Murphy) later came back home singing the song loudly, waking up and infuriating his neighbors.
In 1989, "Higher and Higher" was featured in the film Ghostbusters II, the soundtrack album of which featured a cover version of the song by Howard Huntsberry.
In 1992, Wilson was portrayed in the ABC miniseries by Grady Harrell in The Jacksons: An American Dream.
In 1994, Monkee Peter Tork recorded a bluegrass-rock cover of "Higher and Higher" on his first solo album Stranger Things Have Happened. Tork regularly performs the song in concert.
In 2007, Wilson's music was featured in a film adaptation of Irvine Welsh's book Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance.
In September 2010, Wilson's song "That's Why (I Love You So)" appeared on Dick Clark's Rock, Roll and Remember.
On November 18, 2011 the Black Ensemble Theater of Chicago produced a musical about Wilson's life.

Posted by Bill G. on Saturday, 08.17.13 @ 21:42pm

Jackie Wilson was one of the most important singers in black music's transition from R&B to soul. People called him "Mr. Excitement," and with good reason as Jackie was a gifted singer of range with few rivals and a charismatic showman who could command a stage in a way that few could or have since.

He possessed a natural voice and sang with the grace of Sam Cooke and moved with the frantic dynamism of James Brown. With all this flair and physical skill at his disposal, Jackie could drive an audience to the brink of hysteria.

A mainstay on the R&B and pop charts from 1958 to 1968 although never a cross-over superstar, he scored two dozen Top 40 hits.

His reputation wasn't quite as great as Ray Charles or Sam Cooke, however, because his albums didn't always reflect his artistic genius.

On record, however, Jackie was often in control with grandiose arrangements and outdated songs, but he transcended even the blandest with the powerful excitement of his vocals and while he did over record, putting out two albums a year between 1959 and 1974, some of those albums are noteworthy such as "Lonely Teardrops" and "Soul Time".

Wilson's unrivaled success and output was amazing, impacting the charts between 1958 and 1973. Scattered among an excessive number of sentimental ballads were a few R&B jewels like "Baby Workout," "Lonely Tear Drops," "Think Twice," and "Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher and Higher". All together, Jackie had 47 R&B hits with 24 songs crossing over the Billboard Top 40.

He was also versatile, too handling up-tempo R&B and mainstream balladry with style and charisma. Not only was Wilson "Mr. Excitement" but also "the black Elvis" as some called him.

He tore up the stage wherever he went with an act that radiated excitement and sex appeal. His popularity expanded overseas, where, in 1963 he headlined a show in Britain where The Beatles were the opening act.

When the hits stopped coming and musical tastes changed in the late 60s, Jackie remained active on the perfroming stage. In fact, he was performing "Lonely Teardrops" on a stage in New Jersey when he suffered a heart attack that put him in a coma and a few mouths and left him permanently incapacitated.

He passed away in 1984.

Jackie Wilson to me is one of the two most charismatic performers in soul music. His stagemenship is some of the finest I've ever seen. Only James Brown could rival him.

Jackie's influence can still be heard and seen in the music and stage presence of singers like Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. Just look at Jackson's stage power and dance moves.

Posted by Andrew on Saturday, 02.8.14 @ 23:23pm

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