Chancellor of Soul's Chronicles-Journals Dedicated To The
Historical Preservation Of R&B, Pop and It's Artists and Music


Walter Jackson

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Walter Jackson

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Walter Jackson

(The Sophisticated Gent of Chicago Soul)

 

          

           The sweet sounds of Chicago soul interjected a new flavor of

           sophistication that polished the rough edges of R&B music in

           the 1960's. The discovery of this gentleman's talent was not

           only Chi-townss precious weight in solid gold soul but one of

           the most heartfelt underrated singers in music history.

           Mr. Walter Jackson.         

                

       

            Born on March 19, 1938 in Pensacola, Florida, Walter at the

      age of 5, was stricken with polio. He moved to Detroit and

      recorded as a member of the Velvetones for Deb Records

      in 1959.  Jackson embarked on a solo career and failed

      an audition at Motown. He signed with Columbia Records

      in 1962 and released an uncharted single, 'Starting Tomorrow'

      b/w 'Then Only Then'.

       

 

      Walter was discovered by Carl Davis, (head A&R honcho

      of Columbia's subsidiary label Okeh) in a Detroit nightclub.

      Carl brought Jackson to Chicago and assigned him to

      Chicago's gifted songwriter, Curtis Mayfield.

              

     With a stroke of pen, Curtis composed a great double sided

     single 'That's What Mama Say' (answer song to Jan Bradley's

     62' smash 'Mama Didn't Lie') and a lovely ballad entitled,

     'What Would You Do'. While the song received airplay in the

     east coast region, Walter's next single 'It's All Over' (penned by

     Mayfield) b/w 'Lee Cross' (originally recorded by Aretha Franklin

     on Columbia and written by Ted White, Aretha's ex-husband),

     placed him at the No.10 position on Cashbox's R&B Top 50 chart,

     the week ending, Sat Nov 21, 1964. Billboard deleted the R&B

     charts from the magazine, from Nov 21, 1963 til Jan 30, 1965.

     A self-titled LP 'It's All Over' was released in 1965.

 

     Carl Davis continued to produced two more charted singles on

     Jackson: the tear jerking 'Suddenly I'm All Alone' (written by

     the late Van McCoy) (No.13 R&B March 13, 1965) and the gorgeous

     'Welcome Home' (by Chip Taylor, composer of the quintessential

     pop hit 'Wild Thing' by the Troggs) (No.15 R&B July 3, 1965).

     Walter's sophomore LP release on Okeh was 'Welcome Home':

     The Many Moods Of Walter Jackson in 1965.

 

     'Suddenly I'm All Alone' was personal favorite of Bill Cosby's and

      was featured in an 1985 episode, of 'The Cosby Show'. Cliff

      Huxtable finds himself alone in the basement of his brownstone,

      grinding to the song, on an old phonograph.

 

      After a disagreement with Okeh president Len Levy, Carl Davis

      departed from the label in late 1965 and signed with Brunswick.

      Ted Cooper would take over production using the established

      Chi-town Davis formula and produced more chart hit singles

      in 1966: 'It's An Uphill Climb To The Bottom' (No.11 R&B

      July 23, 1966) the upbeat Gene Chandler remake 'Tear For Tear'

     'After You There Could Be Nothing' b/w 'My Funny Valentine'

     (No.40 R&B Oct 15, 1966) 'A Corner In The Sun' b/w 'Not You'

     (No. 46 R&B Nov 26, 1966) and 'Speak Her Name' b/w 'They

      Don't Give You Medals' (No.22 R&B April 15, 1967).

      A 3rd LP entitled ‘Speak Her Name was released in early 1967.

 

      Riley Hampton orchestrated the beautiful string arrangements on

      Walter recordings while the Kitty Haywood Singers provided

      those gorgeous harmonic angelic voices in the background.

     

      After one more chart entry 'Deep In The Heart Of Harlem'

     (No.43 R&B July 22, 1967) a beautiful remake of the

     1965 Jimmy Radcliff hit 'My Ship Is Comin' In'(1967)

     and 'Road To Ruin' b/w 'Everything Under The Sun' (1968),

     Walter Jackson parted ways with Okeh and inked with

     Cotillion Records and released 'Anyway That You Want Me'

     (No.37 R&B Dec 13, 1969).

             

     After a three year hiatus, Jackson signed with Brunswick

     in 1973 and recorded two singles, 'I Never Had It So Good'

     b/w Easy Evil (June 1973) and 'It Doesn't Take Much'

     (No.91 R&B Nov 24, 1973).  He became inactive from the

     music industry for two years. 

 

     Walter reunited with Carl Davis on Chi-Town in 1976 and

     scored his first top ten R&B single with a remake of

     Morris Albert's international hit 'Feelings' (No.9 Jan 22, 1977),

     including several other singles, 'Baby, I Love Your Way'

     Peter Frampton's remake (No.19 R&B May 14, 1977) a remake

     of his 64' classic 'It's All Over' (No.75 R&B Sept 24, 1977) and

     'If I Had My Way' (No.68 March 1978).

 

     'Tell Me Where It Hurts' on Columbia (No.28 June 1981)

     and 'If I Had A Chance' on Kelli-Arts (No.83 Jan 1983)

     were Jackson's last recordings before he succumbed 

     to a cerebral hemorrhage, on June 20, 1983.

 

     Walter Jackson was a handsome singer who baritone voice,

     pierced though the hearts of music fans, from all walks of life.

     He never let his performance on stage as a handicapped diminish 

     his gifted abilities as an entertainer. The late Luther Vandross

     would claim that Walter Jackson was his favorite singer.

 

      

     So if suddenly you're all alone and you've cried tear for tear and

     you feel like it's all over...just put on the smooth groove sounds

     of Walter Jackson and find peaceful corner in the sun to relax to

     because after Walter...there can be nothing.    

 

     

 

                                  Soulfully Yours,

                                     Mike Boone  

                              (Chancellor of Soul)

 

                                    (Feb 2008)

 

 

 

 

 

 Materials should not be used or altered without the expressed

 Permission of the author, Mike Boone (Chancellor of Soul)

             

                   

     

 

               

 

 

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