"Lonely Teardrops"- Performed by Jackie Wilson (1958)

September 26, 2008


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Early years and career
Jack Leroy Wilson, Jr. was born in Detroit, Michigan, the only son of Jack, Sr. and Eliza Mae Wilson. Growing up in the Highland Park area of North End, Jackie, who was also called “Sonny” by friends, grew up rough, joining a gang called the Shakers and often getting in trouble. He dropped out of high school at the age of 15, and by that time had been sentenced to juvenile detention twice. After his second trip to detention, he discovered boxing, and boxed around the Detroit area, eventually winning the Golden Gloves division in Detroit at the age of 16. After getting married and becoming a father at 17, Wilson gave up boxing for music, forming a group that included cousin Levi Stubbs, who later went on to lead the Four Tops. He was soon discovered by talent agent Johnny Otis, who assigned him to join a group called the Thrillers. That group would later be known as The Royals (who would later evolve into R&B group, The Midnighters), but Wilson wasn’t part of the group when they changed their name and signed with King Records. After recording a few sides with Dizzy Gillespie’s record label, he joined The Dominoes after a successful audition to replace Clyde McPhatter, who had left to join The Drifters. Wilson was the group’s lead singer for over a year producing the pop hit, “St. Therese of the Roses”, before he began a solo career in 1957.

Solo stardom
In 1957, Wilson signed a solo contract with Brunswick Records, a subsidiary division of Decca, and released his first single, Reet Petite, which became a modest R&B success. The song was written by another former boxer named Berry Gordy, Jr., who co-wrote it with partner Roquel Davis. Soon the duo composed and produced a sizable collection of hit singles for Wilson, including “To Be Loved”, “That’s Why”, “I’ll Be Satisfied” and his late-1958 single, “Lonely Teardrops”. The latter single became a No. 7 pop smash, and established him as an R&B superstar known for his extraordinary vocal range.

Due to his fervor when performing, with both dance moves and singing, he was soon christened “Mr. Excitement”, a title he would keep for the remainder of his career. His stagecraft in his live shows inspired Michael Jackson, among others.  ( SOURCE: WIKI )

After making so many hits with fellow former boxer and friend Berry Gordy, it is hard not to wonder why Wilson was not part of the Motown machine! Wilson is remembered by his fans but he never became a huge pop star as did so many of the Motown acts.  Surely this is one of those things that make you go hmm?!.

Before you go please check out Wilson’s lip synch to his classic hit “Lonely Teardrops” on “American Bandstand.” Not only was this a #7 Billboard Pop hit, but it went straight to the top (#1) on the Billboard R&B charts as well so it is definitely worth another listen and look see. (LOL)

Read more about Wilson at this website devoted to his legacy.

Thanks for dropping in.

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Filed under:Brunswick,Fifties,Jackie Wilson,Lonely Teardrops,Magnificent Male Vocalists,Pop/R&B,Tyran Carlo (Berry Gordy & Billy Davis)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 SupaStarry June 14, 2009 at 1:38 am

i LOVE Jackie! jus as much as i love The Temps and Otis Redding and thats alot! lol i love this song and i even got my lil sister likin it too. Jackie’s voice is so unique that you kno when he’s singin a song. Hey Sondan, in case you havent seen this its a live and faster version of Lonely Teardrops…tell me what you think!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyWQ7OLJRt8&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0x234900&color2=0x4e9e00&border=1]

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