Freddie Jackson Biography

2 October 1956, Harlem, New York City, New York, USA. A singer-songwriter, who was especially successful in the late 80s, Jackson was brought up in Harlem, and sang at the White Rock Baptist church while he was still a young child. Later, he worked in a bank before joining the group LJE, along with the singer, songwriter and producer Paul Laurence. In the early 80s, Jackson moved to California and became lead singer with the R&B vocal/instrumental group Mystic Merlin. He sang on their Full Moon, which featured the popular soul/dance track ‘Mr Magician’. In 1984, Jackson returned to the east coast where he was spotted singing in a New York club by Melba Moore. After serving as a backing vocalist for Moore, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, and others, Jackson signed a solo contract with Capitol Records, and issued Rock Me Tonight in 1985. Both the album, and its title track, ‘Rock Me Tonight (For Old Times Sake)’, which Jackson had written with Paul Laurence, made the US Top 20, and also did well in the UK. Subsequent singles from Rock Me Tonight, such as ‘You Are My Lady’ and ‘He’ll Never Love You (Like I Do)’, proved to be ideally suited for the burgeoning soul club scene on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1986, Jackson duetted with Melba Moore on ‘A Little Bit More’ from her album A Lot Of Love, and issued his own Just Like The First Time, which included three more successful dance sides, ‘Have You Ever Loved Somebody’, ‘Tasty Love’, and ‘Jam Tonight’.

Jackson’s subsequent albums did not fare so well, and were sometimes criticized for their ‘sameness’. Nevertheless, Don’t Let Love Slip Away contained two UK hits, ‘Nice ‘N’ Slow’ and ‘Crazy (For Me)’, and Time For Love was given extra interest by the inclusion of guest artists such as Audrey Wheeler, Will Downing and Najee. Here It Is was the sole product of an abortive stay on RCA Records. Jackson’s songwriting activities, mostly in collaboration with Paul Laurence, resulted in numbers such as ‘Trust Me’ for Lilo Thomas, ‘Keepin’ My Lover Satisfied’ for Melba Moore, and ‘Jam Song’ for Howard Johnson. After an extended lay-off, Jackson returned to the studio to record 1999’s Life After 30.

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

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