James Brown
Luther Vandross
Billy Butler
Jerry Butler
Terry Callier
Sam Cooke
King Curtis
The Drifters
Walter Jackson
Lou Johnson
Ben E King
Knight Brothers
Curtis Mayfield
Tony Middleton
Clyde McPhatter
Esther Phillips
Wilson Pickett
The Willows
Eugene Record

Many More Coming Soon!


Walter Jackson’s career was a brief but magical one. He contracted polio at an early age and despite the hardship and problems that this disability created during the 23 years of his career, he produced maximum vocal magic.
Walter was born 19 March 1938 in Pensacola Florida. He started singing in local church choirs then moved into gospel quartets. After relocating to Detroit he joined the Velvetones, who cut sides for the Deb label in ’59. Despite the disability of performing on crutches Walter went solo in the early 60s and was discovered by Carl Davis in ’62 while performing in Detroit. Davis & Jackson cut several great records together on Columbia and OKeh but it took Curtis Mayfield’s spark to ignite Walter’s earliest chart success. ‘It’s All Over’ charted stateside in November ‘64 but before the hits started to happen for him. Jackson had recorded several good sides that included another Mayfield song ‘That’s What Mama Say’; a great sequel to Jan Bradley’s earlier hit ‘Mama Didn’t Lie’. Walter made many great records: ‘Uphill Climb To The Bottom’, ‘Corner In The Sun’, ‘Speak Her Name’, ‘No Butterflies’ and many more.
The majority of his work is to be found on the ten albums that he made for various labels both during and after his departure from OKeh. He signed to Epic in ’68 and cut two good singles there with producer Ted Cooper but they scored no chart points. So a move to New York based Cotillion was his next step but things didn’t go too well there either, of the fifteen tracks he recorded only four were issued on two singles but the best ‘Anyway You Want Me’ did make top 40 R&B. Walter made two more one shot singles with USA and Wand but they both went missing and he reunited with Carl Davis in ’73. ‘It Doesn’t Take Much’ was a minor hit on Brunswick in November ’73 but when Davis set up his own Chi-Sound label three years later Jackson followed him there.
Walter Jackson’s voice and vocal delivery were unique, he had the ability to make any song his own and then deliver it in a particularly soulful way. Over the next decade Jackson and Davis recorded 10 singles of which 5 were US R&B charts hits. In their second period together Walter and Carl cut six great albums.
While the prices of his vinyl continue to spin out of the reach of most fans, some of his OKeh catalogue has been reissued on CD by Legacy, Charly and there was an unofficial Marginal collection. Most of these are long deleted. None of the Epic, Cotillion, USA or Wand tracks were reissued but would make one hell of compilation. The second half of his catalogue was issued on CD in the UK thanks mainly to the efforts of Tony Rounce and David Cole, who teamed up to produce two excellent compilations Feeling …The Songs and Touching…The Soul, both on Westside. Then went on to issue all five of the
Chi-Sound albums plus his last outing on Columbia.
After Walter’s death from a brain haemorrhage more than two decades ago in June 1983, Carl Davis who had produced most of his records said “I feel privileged that I knew Walter Jackson for more than twenty years. I knew him foremost as a fan, and as a fan I was privileged to be his producer. Walter has left a rich legacy and this his last album is testimony to that legacy.”

Peter Burns September ’04

The Carl Davis quote comes from the sleeve of Bluebird LPBR 1001.

More research available by email
Full Biography
Photographic & graphic scans

Recommended reading
‘People Never Give Up’ by Peter Burns – Published by Sanctuary /03

Recommended listening
OKeh Years (15) – US Legacy ZK 64628 /96
It's All Over (28) - EU Marginal MAR 082 /97
Feelings (18) – US Collectables 5148
Touching...The Soul (20) - UK Westside WESA 833 /99
Feeling...The Song (19) - UK Westside WESA 834 /99
Feeling Good (10) - UK Westside WESM 616 /2K
I Want To Come Back As A Song (10) - UK Westside WESM 617 /2K
Good To See You (9) - UK Westside WESM 618 /2K
Send In The Clowns (9) - UK Westside WESM 619 /2K
Tell Me Where It Hurts (8) - UK Westside WESM 620 /2K
Portrait Of Walter Jackson (8) - UK Westside WESM 621 /2K