CHUCK JACKSON-THE BEST OF THE WAND YEARS (VINYL).

Chuck Jackson-The Best Of The Wand Years (Vinyl).

Label: Kent Soul.

By the time Pittsburg-born Chuck Jackson signed to Wand Records in 1961, he was just twenty-four,  and was already an experienced singer, who many within the music industry thought had a great future ahead of him. Chuck Jackson’s career began four years earlier in 1957, when he joined the second lineup of The Del-Vikings.

Later in 1957, Chuck Jackson sung the lead vocal on The Del-Vikings’ 1957 single Willette, which when it was released, failed to trouble the charts. Sadly, commercial success continued to elude the singles 

The Del-Vikings released between 1957 and 1959. By then, Chuck Jackson had come to the conclusion that although The Del-Vikings were a popular draw locally, they were never going to enjoy chart success and decided to embark upon a solo career.

Before long, Chuck Jackson had signed to the Petite label, and released Willette as single in 1959. However, when the single failed to find an audience, Chuck Jackson was on the move.

Next stop was the Clock label, where Chuck Jackson would release a trio of singles. His clock debut was Come On and Love Me, which was released later in 1959,  but failed to find an audience. However, by then time, Chuck Jackson had been ‘discovered.’

This came about when Chuck Jackson was opening for Jackie Wilson at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, and i the audience that night, was Luther Dixon. He immediately spotted the potential in Chuck Jackson, which was the break the twenty-two year old soul man had been waiting for.

After being discovered by Luther Dixon, Chuck Jackson released two more singles for Clock, including I’m Yours in April 1960, which stalled at ninety-one on the US Billboard 100. This was the first of Chuck Jackson’s singles that had charted, and although it was only a minor hit, he hoped that his luck was changing. Sadly, when This Is It was released later in 1960, it failed to trouble the charts and  Chuck Jackson was back to square one.

Once his contract with Clock expired, Chuck Jackson released a Peeping Tom for Belltone using the moniker Chuck Flamingo. Just like previous solo singles, it sunk without trace. History repeated itself when Chuck Jackson released Mr. Pride as a single for Belltone in March 1961. Two years after embarking upon a solo career, and Chuck Jackson was struggling to make a breakthrough. Fortunately, his luck was about to change.

Later in 1961 Chuck Jackson signed to Wand Records, which was an imprint of the New York label Scepter Records. Little did Chuck Jackson know that this would be his home for the next six years. Between 1961 and 1966 Chuck Jackson enjoyed a successful solo career and formed a partnership with Maxine Brown at Wand. This was the most prolific and successful period of Chuck Jackson’s long career.

Chuck Jackson released a total of ten albums and thirty singles between 1961 and 1966, and enjoyed seventeen hit singles in the US R&B charts and nineteen in the US Billboard 100. This was the most successful period of Chuck Jackson’s long career, and it’s been documented and celebrated by Kent Soul, an imprint of Ace Records over the past three decades, including on the newly released The Best Of The Wand Years  which was released on vinyl by Kent Soul.

There’s a total of fourteen tracks on The Best Of The Wand Years, including eleven that were released between 1961 and 1966. The other three tracks were released by Kent between 1987 and 1990  and return for an encore on The Best Of The Wand Years.

The earliest track from Chuck Jackson’s tracks on The Best Of The Wand Years is the hurt filled I Don’t Want To Cry which was released as a single in 1961. It reached thirty-six in the US Billboard 100 and five in the US R&B charts, but failed to trouble the UK charts. I Don’t Want To Cry which later lent its name to Chuck Jackson’s debut album was a tantalising taste of what was to come from the Pittsburg-born soul man

In April 1962, Chuck Jackson released a cover of Any Day Now which reached twenty-three in the US Billboard 100 and five in the US R&B charts. Any Day Now finds Chuck Jackson’s voice is full  of dread at the thought of losing the woman he loved. This was one of the finest recordings of Chuck Jackson’s career and became the title of Chuck Jackson’s sophomore album.

Two months later in June 1962, Chuck Jackson released I Keep Forgetting as a single which also features on the album Any Day Now. It featured an unusual percussive arrangement that was very different to much of the music being released, while Chuck Jackson released a vocal powerhouse. Sadly, I Keep Forgetting stalled at just fifty-five in the US Billboard 100, but became a favourite of British mods .

January 1963 saw Chuck Jackson release Tell Him I’m Not Home which featured on the album 1963 Encore! Chuck Jackson lives the lyrics as he delivers  a soul-baring vocal, that is full of hurt and betrayal. Despite oozing quality, the single only reached forty-two in the US Billboard 100 and twelve in the US R&B charts.

Two Stupid Feet  was another track from Chuck Jackson’s 1963 album Encore! It was penned by Cara Browne and Luther Dixon and had been originally released as a single by The Tabs. The same backing track was used for Chuck Jackson’s version, as he breathes life, meaning and emotion into the lyrics and makes the song his own.

In May 1964, Chuck Jackson covered Rudy Clark’s Beg Me, where he testifies,  while singing call and responses with the backing vocalists. They play their part in a truly irresistible dancefloor filler that reached forty-five in the US Billboard 100 and five in the US R&B charts. 

Although Chuck Jackson was a successful artist, executives at Wand had already decided to update his sound in  later 1964. However, they decided to use the B-Side to experiment with the new sound. As a single it was decided that Chuck Jackson should release a cover Jeffrey David Hooven and Hal Winn’s Since I Don’t Have You October 1964. Chuck Jackson’s  beautiful heartfelt cover reached forty-seven in the US Billboard 100 and five in the US R&B charts. On the B-Side was, a cover of Robert Mosley’s Hand It Over  where Chuck Jackson’s experimented with the “discotheque sound“ and shows a new side to his music.

Five months later, Chuck Jackson released the ballad I Need You in March 1965, which features a rueful vocal full sadness and regret. I Need You stalled at seventy-five in the US Billboard 100 , but reached a respectable twenty-two in the US R&B charts.

In October 1965, Chuck Jackson released Good Things Come to Those Who Wait as a single, but it failed to trouble the charts. However, this dancer became a favourite on the British Northern Soul scene, especially at the Twisted Wheel in Manchester.

When Chuck Jackson released These Chains of Love (Are Breaking Me Down) as a single in July 1966, it became his latest single that failed to trouble the charts. However, later, Chuck Jackson’s soul stomper These Chains of Love (Are Breaking Me Down) was discovered by DJs on the British Northern Soul scene and was heard by a new audience. Sadly, that was too late for Chuck Jackson who had left Wand by then.

In 1987, Kent Records released A Powerful Soul which was a new compilation of Chuck Jackson songs that included (I’d Be A) Millionaire and Van McCoy’s I Can’t Stand to See You Cry. Both songs seemed to tailor-made for Chuck Jackson who brought the lyrics to life on these two hidden gems.

Three years later in 1990, Kent Records released another new Chuck Jackson compilation Good Things. It featured What’s With This Loneliness which was penned by Chuck Jackson and made its welcome debut on Good Things. Twenty-eight years later it returns for an encore on The Best Of The Wand Years which was recently released on vinyl by Kent Soul, an imprint of Ace Records.

For newcomers to career Chuck Jackson’s  at Wand Records who want to experience his music on vinyl, then The Best Of The Wand Years  is the perfect place to start.  It features fourteen tracks from Chuck Jackson’s Wand Years which was the most prolific and successful part of what was a long career. However, The Best Of The Wand is just an amuse bouche and there’s much more to enjoy.

After discovering the delights of The Best Of The Wand Years,  there’s the eight albums that Chuck Jackson released for Wand Records. They’ve been released on four albums by Kent Soul, and document the most successful period of Chuck Jackson’s career. During this period, Chuck Jackson enjoyed seventeen hit singles in the US R&B charts and nineteen in the US Billboard 100. He was one of the most successful soul singers signed to Wand Records, and had a huge following on both sides of the Atlantic.

That is still the case today, and Chuck Jackson’s legion of loyal fans will enjoy the hits, B-Side, rarities and unreleased tracks on The Best Of The Wand Years, which celebrates the career of a veteran soul man.

Chuck Jackson-The Best Of The Wand Years (Vinyl).

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