Walter Jackson

Walter Jackson - Speak Her Name (OKM 12120) 1966

Speak Her Name; Tear For Tear; Not You; After You There Can Be Nothing; They Don't Give Medals (To Yesterday's Hero's); A Corner In The Sun; My One Chance To Make It; She's A Woman; I'll Keep On Trying; It's An Uphill Climb To The Bottom

Produced by: Ted Cooper/Carl Davis/Gerald Sims

It's An Uphill Climb To The Bottom

Do you have to feel the pain to sing the pain? I think right from the word go It's An Uphill Climb To The Bottom says it all. Walter Jackson shown here on his album cover clinging to crutches, was he looking for a sympathy vote or was he just very honest, i guess the later as he suffered from Polio, a desease that was all but eradicated in the second part of the 20th. century, I remember having a childhood girlfriend who also died from this illness. Marvin Gaye always said that his troubled life gave him the inspiration to sing new songs, I guess his father took him too literally.

It seems that way even today with people like Amy Winehouse achieving great success due to her honest portrayal of emotions/lyrics in her music. With Walter Jackson 'the tears' prove one thing if YOUR not crying at the music in this song then you need to receive more pain in your own life perhaps.

An appreciation of the fabulous Chicago production techniques on this album are also to be admired. Just magnificent; After You There Can Be Nothing (and you believe him), Tear For Tear & My One Chance To Make It are all a heavenly fusion of Carl Davis (who discovered Walter in the Twenty Grand a Detroit night club by the way), Gerald Sims and Riley Hampton's combined work.

These titles alone could have been names for movies or best selling novels. Uphill Climb is also available on a single and also had a picture sleeve, quite unusual in the music business at the time (excluding France that is.) Ace Records UK have put this album out now on CD with some unreleased tracks as a bonus, but how special is an album where every track is just supurb anyway!

Walter Jackson was born 19 March 1938, Pensacola, Florida, USA, but parents moved to Detroit while he was a baby. As mentioned he crippled by polio as a child & spent much of his life on those crutches. Jackson recorded in 1959 as a member of the Velvetones one single, but his solo career unfolded on signing to the OKeh 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, 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 on the 20th June, 1983.

Collectables: All his Okeh albums are knock-out apart from a standards album, Welcome Home, he did and that's just nice. Although hits were lacking with his Chi-Sound work they are very good albums (the 'best of' found on It's Cool - a Charly CD). The 1973 Brunswick single (shown) Let Me Come Back is picking up in value at the moment, up-to £90 on a good day.

Walter Jackson Discography:

Who Took My Girl / Stars Of Wonder (VELVETONES) DEB 1008 1959

I Don't Want To Suffer / This World Of Mine Columbia 42528 8/1962
Then Only Then / Starting Tomorrow Columbia 42659 1963
It Will Be The Last Time / Opportunity Columbia 42823 6/1963

That's What Mama Said / What Would You Do Okeh 7189 2/1964
It's All Over / Lee Cross Okeh 7204 10/1964
Suddenly I'm All Alone / Special Love Okeh 7215 1/1965
Welcome Home/Blowing In The Wind Okeh 7219 5/1965
Where Have All The Flowers Gone/I'll Keep Trying Okeh 7229 9/1965
Funny(Not Much/One Heart Lonely Okeh 7236 2/1966
It's An Uphill Climb To The Bottom/Tear For Tear Okeh 7247 5/1966
After You There Can Be Nothing/My Funny Valentine Okeh 7256 8/1966
A Corner In The Sun/Not You Okeh 7260 10/1966
Speak Her Name/They Don't Give Medals Okeh 7272 1/1967
Deep In The Heart Of Harlem/My One Chance To Make It Okeh 7285 6/1967
My Ship Is Coming In/A Cold Cold Winter Okeh 7295 1967
Everything Under The Sun/Road To Ruin Okeh 7305 1968

The Bed/The Look Of Love Epic 10377 1968
No Butterflies/Ad Lib Epic 10408 1968

Anyway That You Want Me/Life It's Ups And Downs Cotillion 44053 11/1969
Bless You/Coldest Days Of My Life Cotillion 44077 5/1970

The Walls That Separate/A Fool For You USA 104 1971

No Easy Way Down/I'm All Cried Out Wand 11247 1972

I Never Had It So Good/Easy Evil Brunswick 55498 1973
It Doesn't take Much/Let Me Come Back Brunswick 55502 1973 *pic shown

Feelings/Words (Are Impossible) Chi-Sound/UA 908 1976
Baby I Love Your Way/What Would You Do Chi-Sound/UA 964 1977
It's All Over/Gonna Find Me An Angel Chi-Sound/UA 91044 1977
If I Had My Way/We Could Fly Chi-Sound/UA 1140 1978
I Won't Remember Ever Loving You/Manhattan Skyline Chi-Sound/UA 1216 1978

Magic Man/Golden Ray 20th Century Fox 2426 1979

Tell Me Where It Hurts/When I See You Columbia 02037 5/1981
Come To Me/What If I Walked Out On You Columbia 02294 8/1981

Touching In The Dark/If I Had A Chance Kelli-Arts 1006 2/1982
It's Cool/When The Loving(Goes Out Of The Loving) Chi-Sound 110 6/1983

It's All Over Okeh 12107 (1964) (see blog)
It's All Over [EP/Mini LP] Okeh 14107 (1965)
Welcome Home Okeh 12108 (1965)
Speak Her Name Okeh 12120 (1967) (see blog)
Greatest Hits Okeh 12128 (1969)
Feeling Good Chi-Sound 656 (1976)
I Want To Come Back As A Soung Chi-Sound 733 (1977)
Good To See You Chi-Sound 844 (1978)
Send In The Clowns Chi-Sound/20th.Cent 586 (1978)
Tell Me Where It Hurts Columbia (1981)
A Poirtrait Of Walter Jackson Chi-Sound 2009 (1983)
It's Cool Charly 305 (1992) (see blog)
Touching The Soul Westside (1999)
Speak Her Name Ace/Kent CD

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