The first to experience the sheer power of Chuck Jackson's incredible voice were the members of his grandmother's church, where the future soul sensation led the gospel choir at the impossibly young age of eleven. While still a teen, Jackson toured the U.S. in a major gospel group and again as a member of The Del Vikings ('Come Go With Me').
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It was then that Jackson was given important career advice by none other than his idol, soul legend Jackie Wilson. As the Del Vikings prepared to open for Wilson one night, 'Mr. Excitement' invited Jackson to appear as a solo act in his show at the Apollo Theatre the following week. The show attracted music industry executives, and fierce bidding began over which label would sign Chuck Jackson. Impressed with the sincerity of Florence Greenberg and Luther Dixon of the tiny Scepter label, Jackson bypassed the majors to sign with their fledgling independent outfit. 'I Don't Want To Cry,' Jackson's first single for Scepter's Wand division, was also his first hit. Co-written by Jackson himself, the song appeared on both r&b and pop charts in early 1961 and immediately served notice that a major singing talent had arrived.
The following year saw the biggest hit of Chuck Jackson's career: the Burt Bacharach/Bob Hilliard classic 'Any Day Now.' The single was a career-making triumph, and remains one of the most intensely emotional performances in the history of rhythm and blues.
Jackson followed 'Any Day Now' with a string of hit singles for Wand, including 'I Keep Forgettin' (1962), 'Tell Him I'm Not Home' (1963), and the exhiliarating 'Beg Me' (1964). In the mid-sixties, he teamed up with Scepter/Wand label mate Maxine Brown to record 'Something You Got' (1965). The song's success led to an album by the duet, 'Hold On, We're Comin' (1966), and a hit cover of Shep and the Limeliters' 'Daddy's Home' (1967).
In 1967 Jackson left Scepter for Motown Records. While at Motown he enjoyed a number of successful singles, including 'Are You Lonely For Me' and 'Honey Come Back,' and albums such as 'Chuck Jackson Arrives!' Brief stints with other labels followed during the next two decades, culminating in the formation - with soul singer O.C. Smith - of Carolina Records, a label dedicated to comtemporary rhythm and blues.
Recently Chuck Jackson recorded 'I'll Take Care Of You,' a critically-acclaimed set of duets with Cissy Houston for Shanachie Records, and contributed a track to Razor & Tie's 'Tribute to Arthur Alexander.' 'Good Times,' an import CD that features many of Chuck Jackson's triumphs from his Specter/Wand era, has turned into a runaway success for the U.K.'s tiny Kent label. Jackson's appearance in the 1992 Rock and Soul Review, a musical extravaganza that also featured Boz Scaggs, Phoebe Snow, and Steely Dan, earned rave reviews from critics and audiences alike. It's no wonder that the Rhythm and Blues Foundation awarded Chuck Jackson their prestigious Pioneer Award that year.
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