Archive for Westlawn Cemetery

Jackie Wilson

Posted in Westlawn Cemetery with tags , on August 22, 2022 by Cade

June 9, 1934 – January 21, 1984

A common thread for musicians who grew up on the streets of 1950s Detroit was that you had two choices as a young person: join a gang or join a singing group. Jack Leroy Wilson, Jr. – known as “Sonny” or “Jackie” – opted for both. He served time in juvenile detention a couple of times, learned to box and took up drinking alcohol as a teenager. All the while, he found that, despite the fact that he wasn’t particularly religious, he enjoyed singing with other kids in church. Jackie was able to find work singing in clubs around Detroit and eventually landed a record deal with Brunswick records where he became one of the great pioneers of the burgeoning Rhythm & Blues wave that was about to sweep the nation.

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