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1960s / Jackie Wilson Thats Why
Jackie Wilson first started his career in music in his native Detroit. He joined Billy Ward & the Dominoes in 1953, replacing Clyde McPhatter. After losing McPhatter, the group's only major recording success with Wilson came in June of 1956 with the single "St. Therese of The Roses" that reached number 13 on the Pop charts. His solo career began with 1957's "Reet Petite," written by the then-unknown Berry Gordy, Jr. He had his first top 40 hit in 1958 with "To Be Loved." At the end of that year he had his first big success with "Lonely Teardrops" that went to #7 on the charts. The song, also written by Gordy, became his signature tune. That same year saw Wilson release his first LP titled She's So Fine. Wilson's brand of soul and R&B helped him cross over to the mainstream, having several pop hits. His dynamic stage performances earned him the nickname "Mr. Excitement." In another of his performances on Ed Sullivan's show, he sang "Lonely Teardrops" which was considered one of the show's classics. In the 1960s, Wilson continued to record singles, many of them operatic, such as "Danny Boy" or "Night," others were up-tempo and exciting, such as "Baby Workout" in 1963. His career began to suffer in the mid-60s, though he managed a brief revival by collaborating with Carl Davis, a legendary Chicago producer. This resulted in two hits, "Whispers (Gettin' Louder)" and "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher". The revival was short-lived, though, and Wilson rarely charted in the 1970s. He suffered a massive heart attack while playing a Dick Clark show at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on September 29, 1975, falling head-first to the stage; he was singing "Lonely Teardrops". The blow to his head left him comatose. For the next eight years and four months he was in a vegetative state until his death at age 49.