Chuck Jackson is a fine, very underrated singer who recorded many songs, often in collaboration with songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and who is associated primarily with one beautiful song from the early 60's.
He was born in Latta, South Carolina in 1937 and raised in Pittsburgh. His interest in singing developed when he was a child. In 1957 he left college to work with the Raspberry Singers, a gospel group. From 1957 to 1959 he was a member of he Dell-Vikings, although he did not appear on any of their big hits. He first recorded as a solo artist with Beltone in 1960. Chuck's cousin is singer Ann Sexton.
He then moved to the Wand subsidiary of Scepter Records, which had achieved success with singers such as Dionne Warwick and the Shirelles. Chuck had been noticed while performing with Jackie Wilson's Revue. He also began working with Bacharach and David, as well as house songwriter/producer Luther Dixon. Jackson's recording career began to take off. He was popular on the R&B chart and would cross over to the pop chart at times; his music had a wide appeal, and he proved to be quite an engaging live performer. His style came to be known as uptown soul.
Chuck's first big hit and his first of two top forty pop entries, in early 1961, was I Don't Want To Cry, which he wrote with Dixon. Arranged by Carole King, it went to #5 R&B and #36 pop, as the singer began to draw notice. There were others: I Wake Up Crying, Tell Him I'm Not Home, I Keep Forgettin', If I Didn't Love You... from 1961 to 1968 he would record eighteen records that went into the top 100.
His biggest hit and his signature song came in spring 1962 with Any Day Now (My Wild Beautiful Bird), once again on the Wand label. It is a sad song in which the singer is lamenting the impending loss of the love of his life. Written by Bob Hilliard and Burt Bacharach, it reached #23 pop and was later covered by notable artists that include the Carpenters, Elvis Presley, the Alan Price Set, Long John Baldry, and Ronnie Milsap. Jackson's is the definitive version, and a classic pop hit from the era.
At the urging of fellow songwriter/performer and good friend Smokey Robinson, in 1967 Chuck Jackson switched to the Motown label. In later years he worked as a manager at the the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. He would bring in his friends as popular acts there, arranging appearances by artists such as Dionne Warwick, Smokey Robinson, and Ben E. King. He has also worked with some latter-day artists, among them Michael McDonald and Boyz II Men. He recorded a duet with Warwick that was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Duet in 1997, If I Let Myself Go. Chuck was also good friends with political consultant Lee Atwater.
Chuck Jackson is a talented singer with a classic pop song from 1962 to his credit, Any Day Now (My Wild Beautiful Bird).
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