Jackie’s thinking was immensely confused and after talking to Sammy Davis, he couldn’t decide whether to be Jewish or Christian. When his father died, he went into a rage and smashed all his gospel records. He took little interest in his children. His son, Jackie Wilson Jr, became a father when he was 14 and when he was killed two years later, Wilson didn’t even attend the funeral. Instead he asked a reporter to take photographs of his son in his coffin. To quote a John Prine song, “Some Humans Ain’t Human”.
The illustrations in the original book had an unpleasant, cut-out presentation so I am pleased that it is more conventional this time. There are photos of Jackie Wilson with Elvis Presley, Clyde McPhatter, Little Willie John and the Everly Brothers.
This time the discography is more comprehensive, listing all Jackie’s albums tracks, but the singles section is appallingly laid out, making it difficult to differentiate between A and B sides. However, any comprehensive discography of Jackie Wilson should include his records as part of Billy Ward and the Dominoes. And why not give details of the Edsel reissues? Surely many readers will want to know about them.
Right to the final paragraph, Tony Douglas raves on about Wilson’s voice. He concludes, “Trying to explain with words the magnificence of his honey-rich, emotion-racked voice is like trying to describe a Rembrandt painting to a blind person.” So why have you been doing just that for 250 pages, mate?