Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Members of Rock & Roll Heaven, Part Six

Our popular year-end feature Rock & Roll Heaven* unfortunately has greatly expanded this year with the loss of nearly 200 people of the Rock Era, of which most people would recognize their work:

Wayne Jackson (right, with Andrew Love), one-half the great Memphis Horns, died June 22 of congestive heart failure in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 74.  Some might not instantly recognize his name, but you should, for the sound behind many of your favorite songs is Jackson's trumpet.  

Jackson started out as a member of the Mar-Keys, the backing band at Stax Records.  

While at Stax, Jackson played trumpet for Otis Redding on several albums, and contributed to the classic "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay)".

Jackson played on Dusty Springfield's hit "Son Of A Preacher Man" and provided the sound behind Sam & Dave's "Soul Man" and many other greats at Stax.

They played behind Aretha Franklin on several songs, including her breakthrough #1 classic, "Respect".

Jackson also helped provide the sound behind great songs such as "In The Midnight Hour" by Wilson Pickett.  You can hear Jackson's trumpet prominent in the opening as well as throughout the song.

Jackson was the force behind the great finish of Percy Sledge's classic.

In 1969, Jackson and saxophonist Andrew Love split to form the Memphis Horns.  The Horns recorded with Elvis Presley on "Suspicious Minds", and really help "bring the song home".

The Box Tops hired Jackson to play for them on the #2 smash "Cry Like A Baby".  Once again, Jackson's trumpet  helps finish the song.  

The Horns also backed Neil Diamond on "Sweet Caroline" in 1969.  Jackson's trumpet shines through much of the song, but you'll really recognize it on the "Bah, Bah, Bah".

They played for James Taylor, Billy Joel, the Doobie Brothers, on Al Green's Let's Stay Together album, Neil Young,  U2 ("Angel Of Harlem", Peter Gabriel ("Sledgehammer"), Collective Soul and Bonnie Raitt, just to name a few, and toured with numerous acts, including Rod Stewart, the Doobie Brothers, Joe Cocker and Jimmy Buffett.

Jackson also played horns for Steve Winwood's album Roll With It, getting the nod to introduce the song and playing in key parts of the smash #1 title song.

We could devote an entire day playing music that features Jackson on trumpet.  What a legacy to leave!

By Jackson's own count, he played on 52 #1 songs, 116 Top 10 songs, 83 Gold and Platinum-selling albums, and 15 Grammy-winning records.  Jackson and Love were recognized at the Grammy Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

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