Jackie Wilson


Jackie Wilson

Original Name Jack Leroy Wilson
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Death 21 Jan 1984 (aged 49)
Mount Holly, Burlington County, New Jersey, USA
Burial Wayne, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Memorial ID 2261 View Source
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Singer. Born Jack Leroy Wilson in Detroit, Michigan, 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 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", "Lonely Tear Drops", "Baby Workout", "That's Why I Love You So", and "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, "Dominos" for more than 3 years. The biggest hit Jackie had with the Dominos was "St Therese Of The Roses", reaching number 13 on the charts in 1956. Wilson launched his solo career in 1958 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. 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. 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 Tear drops". He went into a coma, suffering major brain damage and was hospitalized until his death at the age of 49. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987.

Bio by: Jane Stacy Eubanks

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 2261
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : 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 .