Jackie Wilson

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Peter Wolf
  • Category:


Call him what you will—Mr. Excitement, the black Elvis—Jackie Wilson can’t be put into words.

Jackie Wilson’s athleticism, energy and raw sexual magnetism whipped audiences into a frenzy. He could deliver a pitch-perfect performance all while spinning, jumping and dropping to a split.

Hall of Fame Essay


Michael Hill

ln 1953, when the nineteen-year-old Jackie Wilson approached Billy Ward, the leader of the Dominoes, at the Fox Theater, in Wilson’s home town of Detroit, and suggested that he’d make the ideal replacement for the recently departed Clyde McPhatter, boasting that he was actually a better singer…well, Ward and the band were undoubtedly skeptical. 

Then Wilson sang for them - and found himself fronting the group for the next three years, playing before the audience that McPhatter had built and winning them over with similarly abandoned blood-sweat-and-tears performances. He even put the Dominoes back on the charts once more with “St. Therese of the Roses.”

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Program 1987
1 of 4
one of the most elegant performers there was
Peter Wolf