Personalities | Jackie Wilson | Sixties | Rock

(Vocals, 1934–84)

With his powerful high vocal range, Jackie Wilson was among the earliest singers to make the transition from R&B to soul. His first single, 1957’s ‘Reet Petite’, was the start of a winning partnership with its writer, young Berry Gordy (although Wilson never recorded for Gordy’s Motown label). ‘Reet Petite’ was actually more successful in Britain, reaching No. 6 (and No. 1 on its Christmas 1986 reissue). Recorded work rarely captured his sexy on-stage energy, which rivalled James Brown – in 1961 he was shot and seriously injured by a frustrated female fan.

1966’s ‘(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher’ was his last big US hit, although 1972’s ‘I Get The Sweetest Feeling’ made the UK Top 10. The same year Van Morrison wrote his tribute ‘Jackie Wilson Said’, a 1982 UK No. 5 when covered by Dexy’s Midnight Runners. An on-stage heart attack in 1975 left Wilson needing permanent medical care; he died in 1984.

Styles & Forms | Sixties | Rock
Personalities | Johnny Winter | Sixties | Rock

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.