(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
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
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,
b/w 'Then Only Then'.
Walter was discovered by Carl Davis, (head A&R honcho
of Columbia's subsidiary label Okeh) in a Detroit
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
single 'That's What Mama Say'
(answer song to Jan Bradley's
62' smash 'Mama Didn't Lie') and a lovely ballad
'What Would You Do'. While the song received airplay in
east coast region, Walter's next single
'It's All Over'
Mayfield) b/w 'Lee Cross' (originally recorded by
on Columbia and written by Ted White, Aretha's
placed him at the No.10 position on Cashbox's R&B Top
the week ending, Sat Nov 21, 1964. Billboard deleted
charts from the magazine, from Nov 21, 1963 til Jan 30,
A self-titled LP 'It's All Over' was released in 1965.
Carl Davis continued to produced two more charted
Jackson: the tear jerking 'Suddenly I'm All Alone' (written by
the late Van McCoy) (No.13 R&B March 13, 1965) and the
'Welcome Home' (by Chip Taylor, composer of the
pop hit 'Wild Thing' by the Troggs) (No.15 R&B July 3,
Walter's sophomore LP release on Okeh was
The Many Moods Of Walter Jackson in 1965.
'Suddenly I'm All Alone' was personal favorite of Bill
was featured in an 1985 episode, of
'The Cosby Show'.
Huxtable finds himself alone in the basement of his
grinding to the song, on an old phonograph.
After a disagreement with Okeh president Len Levy,
departed from the label in late 1965 and signed with
Ted Cooper would take over production using the
Chi-town Davis formula and produced more chart hit
in 1966: 'It's An Uphill Climb To The Bottom' (No.11
July 23, 1966) the upbeat Gene Chandler remake
'After You There Could Be Nothing' b/w
(No.40 R&B Oct 15, 1966) 'A Corner In The Sun' b/w
(No. 46 R&B Nov 26, 1966) and 'Speak Her Name' b/w
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
Walter recordings while the Kitty Haywood Singers
those gorgeous harmonic angelic voices in the
After one more chart entry 'Deep In The Heart Of
(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
(No.37 R&B Dec 13, 1969).
After a three year hiatus, Jackson signed with
in 1973 and recorded two singles, 'I Never Had It So
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
including several other singles, 'Baby, I Love Your
Peter Frampton's remake (No.19 R&B May 14, 1977) a
of his 64' classic 'It's All Over' (No.75 R&B Sept 24,
'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
pierced though the hearts of music fans, from all walks
He never let his performance on stage as a handicapped
his gifted abilities as an entertainer. The late Luther
would claim that Walter Jackson was his favorite
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
of Walter Jackson and find peaceful corner in the sun
to relax to
because after Walter...there can be nothing.
(Chancellor of Soul)
Materials should not be used or altered without the
Permission of the author, Mike Boone (Chancellor of Soul)