JACKIE WILSON – LONELY TEARDROPS
Tony Douglas (Routledge, 2005)
The review was published in Now Dig This, November 2005.
Talk about being indecisive: this book was published in hardback in 2001 as “Jackie Wilson – The Man, The Music, The Mob” and now it is “Jackie Wilson – Lonely Teardrops”. In his introduction, the author Tony Douglas refers to the book as “Jackie Wilson – The Inside Story Of Mr. Excitement And The Mob”. So is there yet another version of the book with this title? Is this some clever ploy to make us buy the same book more than once? The changes in the new edition are minimal and sometimes in the wrong direction. “Guinness” which was spelt correctly is now “Guiness”; “Do It The Right Way” becomes “Do It The Right Wa”; and on page 157 of the new book, you will find “<A>” instead of a couple of sentences.
As well as a good proof reader, the book needs an editor. Tony Douglas’ gushing prose is monotonous as he tells us over and over that Jackie Wilson is a wonderful singer. He marvels at his operatic range but he never tells us what it actually is. However, that doesn’t make Jackie Wilson unique as thousands of opera singers have also that flexibility. And just how great was his voice when compared to Sam Cooke, Roy Hamilton, Ray Charles or Elvis Presley?