Bull Moose Jackson

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Bull Moose Jackson
Bull Moose Jackson.jpg
Background information
Birth name Benjamin Clarence Jackson
Born (1919-04-22)April 22, 1919
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died July 31, 1989(1989-07-31) (aged 70)
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Genres Blues, R&B
Occupations Singer, saxophonist
Instruments Vocals, saxophone
Years active Early 1940s–1989

Benjamin Clarence "Bull Moose" Jackson (April 22, 1919 – July 31, 1989)[1] was an American blues and rhythm and blues singer and saxophonist, who was most successful in the late 1940s.

Career[edit]

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, United States,[2] he learned to play the saxophone and started his first band, The Harlem Hotshots, while he was still in high school. In 1943, he was recruited as a saxophonist by bandleader Lucky Millinder,[2] and the musicians in Millinder's band gave him the nickname "Bull Moose" for his appearance.[1] He began singing when required to stand in for Wynonie Harris at a show in Texas.

Millinder encouraged Jackson to sign a solo contract with Syd Nathan of King Records to play rhythm and blues. He first recorded in his own right in 1946, with "I Know Who Threw the Whiskey", an answer song to Millinder's "Who Threw the Whiskey in the Well".[1] The following year, his recording of "I Love You, Yes I Do" reputedly became the first R&B single to sell a million copies, holding the #1 spot on the R&B chart for three weeks and crossing over to the pop chart, where it made #24.

He formed his own group, The Buffalo Bearcats, and over the next five years recorded in a wide variety of musical styles, including both romantic crooning and bawdy jump blues. Other big hits in 1948 included the double-sided hit "All My Love Belongs to You" / "I Want a Bowlegged Woman", and his biggest R&B chart hit, "I Can't Go On Without You", which stayed at # 1 on the R&B chart for eight weeks. He also made an appearance in the 1948 film, Boarding House Blues, with Millinder.[1]

In 1949, he covered "Why Don't You Haul Off and Love Me" a song that been successful for Wayne Raney as well as several country and western performers.[3]

Jackson toured throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s. Around 1951, his band included bebop composer and arranger Tadd Dameron on piano, and another jazz musician, Benny Golson, on saxophone.

Some of Jackson's later risqué material, including "Big Ten Inch Record" (later covered by Aerosmith on Toys in the Attic) and "Nosey Joe" (written by Leiber and Stoller), both from 1952, were too suggestive for airplay, but remained popular.

Jackson continued to record until the mid-1950s, but the advent of rock-and-roll largely sidelined older musical artists, and so he instead went to work for a catering firm in Washington, D.C.. In 1961 he re-recorded, "I Love You, Yes I Do" with modernized high-fidelity and had a minor hit.

In the early 1980s he was persuaded by Carl Grefenstette to perform and record again with the Pittsburgh R&B revival band, The Flashcats, who had been playing his songs, and to record the album Moosemania! in 1985. Jackson also toured nationally and internationally. However, his health was deteriorating from lung cancer, and he died in Cleveland during the summer of 1989.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Allmusic biography - accessed January 2008
  2. ^ a b Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 121. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 280. 

External links[edit]