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Jackie Wilson

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Jackie Wilson Famous memorial

Original Name
Jack Leroy Wilson
Birth
Highland Park, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Death
21 Jan 1984 (aged 49)
Mount Holly, Burlington County, New Jersey, USA
Burial
Wayne, Wayne County, Michigan, USA GPS-Latitude: 42.2855606, Longitude: -83.3509216
Memorial ID
View Source
Singer. Born Jack Leroy Wilson Jr. in Detroit, Michigan, he was the only child of Jack and Eliza Wilson from Columbus, Mississippi. He grew up in Highland Park, Michigan. He started singing at the age of 6. At age 12, he joined the "Ever Ready Gospel Singers." They became very popular in Detroit's black churches. Truancy during high school landed him in the Lansing Correctional Institute. While at Lansing, he took up boxing. His mother, Eliza, not a boxing fan, made him pursue a much more promising career, singing! They called him "Mr. Entertainment," and, during his career, he had over two dozen top 40 singles and six number one hits, such as "To Be Loved," "Reet Petite," "Lonely Teardrops," "Baby Workout," "That's Why I Love You So" and "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher," just to name a few. He was a gifted singer of considerable range and an athletic showman who had a dynamic persona that routinely drove audiences to the brink of hysteria. Jackie sang lead and tenor in the singing group, "Billy Ward & the Dominoes" for more than 3 years. The biggest hit Jackie had with The Dominoes was "St. Therese of the Roses," reaching number 13 on the charts in 1956. Signed to Brunswick Records by Nat Tarnopol, Wilson launched his solo career in 1957 with the singles "Reet Petite" and "To Be Loved," both written for him by a pre-Motown Berry Gordy Jr., back when the latter was a struggling songwriter before becoming a successful and influential record executive. A great collaboration was born between Jackie and Gordy. His popularity extended overseas where in 1963, he headlined a British show that had The Beatles as one of his opening acts. Though the hits stopped coming as musical tastes shifted in the late Sixties, he remained active as a performer. Jackie had an enormous impact on the artists of his time and the generation that followed including Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson. Van Morrison released a tribute song to Wilson, titled "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile)" from the album, "Saint Dominic's Preview" (1972). While playing Dick Clark's Oldies Show at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Jackie suffered an on-stage heart attack while singing "Lonely Teardrops." He went into a coma, suffering major brain damage, and was hospitalized until his death at the age of 49. In 1987, Wilson was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to music, located at 7057 Hollywood Blvd.
Singer. Born Jack Leroy Wilson Jr. in Detroit, Michigan, he was the only child of Jack and Eliza Wilson from Columbus, Mississippi. He grew up in Highland Park, Michigan. He started singing at the age of 6. At age 12, he joined the "Ever Ready Gospel Singers." They became very popular in Detroit's black churches. Truancy during high school landed him in the Lansing Correctional Institute. While at Lansing, he took up boxing. His mother, Eliza, not a boxing fan, made him pursue a much more promising career, singing! They called him "Mr. Entertainment," and, during his career, he had over two dozen top 40 singles and six number one hits, such as "To Be Loved," "Reet Petite," "Lonely Teardrops," "Baby Workout," "That's Why I Love You So" and "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher," just to name a few. He was a gifted singer of considerable range and an athletic showman who had a dynamic persona that routinely drove audiences to the brink of hysteria. Jackie sang lead and tenor in the singing group, "Billy Ward & the Dominoes" for more than 3 years. The biggest hit Jackie had with The Dominoes was "St. Therese of the Roses," reaching number 13 on the charts in 1956. Signed to Brunswick Records by Nat Tarnopol, Wilson launched his solo career in 1957 with the singles "Reet Petite" and "To Be Loved," both written for him by a pre-Motown Berry Gordy Jr., back when the latter was a struggling songwriter before becoming a successful and influential record executive. A great collaboration was born between Jackie and Gordy. His popularity extended overseas where in 1963, he headlined a British show that had The Beatles as one of his opening acts. Though the hits stopped coming as musical tastes shifted in the late Sixties, he remained active as a performer. Jackie had an enormous impact on the artists of his time and the generation that followed including Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson. Van Morrison released a tribute song to Wilson, titled "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile)" from the album, "Saint Dominic's Preview" (1972). While playing Dick Clark's Oldies Show at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Jackie suffered an on-stage heart attack while singing "Lonely Teardrops." He went into a coma, suffering major brain damage, and was hospitalized until his death at the age of 49. In 1987, Wilson was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to music, located at 7057 Hollywood Blvd.

Bio by: Jane Stacy Eubanks


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: Apr 25, 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID:
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/2261/jackie-wilson: accessed ), memorial page for Jackie Wilson (9 Jun 1934–21 Jan 1984), Find a Grave Memorial ID 2261, citing Westlawn Cemetery, Wayne, Wayne County, Michigan, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave.