Walter Jackson Biography

19 March 1938, Pensacola, Florida, USA, d. 20 June 1983, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Crippled by polio as a child, Jackson spent much of his life on crutches. This disability imbued his work with a greater pathos. Jackson recorded in 1959 as a member of the Velvetones, but his solo career unfolded on signing to the OKeh Records label. ‘It’s All Over’ (1964), a Curtis Mayfield -penned ballad, was Jackson’s first R&B hit. It was followed by exceptional performances such as ‘Welcome Home’ (1965) and ‘It’s An Uphill Climb To The Bottom’ (1966), both of which reached the soul Top 20. However, the singer’s definitive, towering version of ‘My Ship is Comin’ In’ (first recorded by Jimmy Radcliffe and later by the Walker Brothers) sadly failed to chart. Walter later recorded for Cotillion and Brunswick Records, but between 1973 and 1976 he retired from active performing. Jackson returned with a series of minor hits, including an interpretation of Morris Albert’s ‘Feelings’, but his health was deteriorating. He died of a cerebral haemorrhage in 1983.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.