The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


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Jackie Wilson

1934

Jackie Wilson is born in Detroit, Michigan.

1951

Bandleader/producer Johnny Otis discovers Jackie Wilson at a Detroit talent show and brings him to the attention of Billy Ward, with whose Dominoes Wilson will be invited to tour.

1953

Singer Jackie Wilson becomes an official member of Billy Ward and His Dominoes, replacing Clyde McPhatter.

1956

“St. Therese of the Roses,” by Billy Ward and His Dominoes - featuring Jackie Wilson on lead vocals - reaches #13 on the pop charts.

1957

“Reet Petite (The Finest Girl You’d Ever Want to Meet),” Jackie Wilson’s debut single, is released on Brunswick Records.

1958

“To Be Loved,” by Jackie Wilson, enters the R&B charts, becoming the first of 46 hits for the singer.

1959

“Lonely Teardrops,” by Jackie Wilson becomes Wilson’s first Top Ten pop and tops the R&B chart for seven weeks.

1960

“A Woman, a Lover, a Friend,” by Jackie Wilson, enters the R&B charts, where it will cap an amazing run of four #1 singles in less than two years.

1960

Jackie Wilson is voted Entertainer of the Year by Cash Box magazine.

1961

Jackie Wilson is shot by a deranged female fan who has broken into his apartment. He is rushed to the hospital, where he recovers for six weeks (and leaves with the bullet still lodged in his abdomen).

1963

“Baby Workout,” one of Jackie Wilson’s stronger R&B showings, tops the U.S. R&B chart for the first of three weeks. It also reaches #5 on the pop chart.

1967

“(You’re Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher,” by Jackie Wilson, enters the singles charts, where it will peak at #1 R&B and #6 pop. It is Wilson’s fifth (and final) R&B chart-topper.

1968

“I Get the Sweetest Feeling,” by Jackie Wilson, peaks at #34 on the pop chart. It’s his last Top Forty single, though he’ll continue to impact the R&B chart.

1969

The rock and roll revival is in full swing, as Richard Nadar’s second oldies concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden presents Bill Haley and His Comets, Jackie Wilson, Gary U.S. Bonds, and others.

1975

Jackie Wilson suffers a heart attack while performing at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, as part of Dick Clark’s “Good Ol’ Rock ‘n’ Roll” tour.

1984

Jackie Wilson dies in Mount Holly, New Jersey, after lingering in a brain-damaged state for eight years as a result of his 1975 heart attack.

1987

Jackie Wilson is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 2nd annual induction dinner. Peter Wolf is his presenter.

1994

Rhino Records releases the three-disc box set Mr. Excitement, which chronicles the prolific, hit-filled career of R&B star Jackie Wilson.