I'm not going to lie to you. Most of my musical education comes from roundabout ways. Case in point: Willis Jackson. I was browsing Groove Addict, and I saw his song "Swivel Hips". Of course I'm going to click on something like that. I like hips, particularly when the swivel. Never mind the fact that I'd never heard of Jackson, it didn't matter. His heart was in the right place. Turns out that his specialty was soul jazz, the swinging uptempo, jazz purists be damned, mode. Okay, I can dig it. Especially when it swings consistently. Jackson's album titles were catchy too. Besides Swivel Hips, there's Jackson's Action, Thunderbird, Boss Shoutin', and Blue Gator, just to name a few.
Cursory poking around led to an interesting factoid. Prince Buster once referred to Jackson's early cut "Later For the Gator" as the first ska song. He may have something there. It turns out that Coxsone Dodd would play that at his sound system, introducing it as "Coxsone's Hop". It became a popular enough record that, in a typical sound system scenario, rival system owner Duke Reid tried to find the source. It took him seven years to find out the real title. Good job Coxsone!
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Listen:
Willis Jackson - Swivel Hips mp3 at Groove Addict
Willis Jackson - Later For the Gator (streaming) at YouTube
Willis Jackson - Boss St. Louis Blues mp3 at Groove Addict
Willis Jackson - 15 more mp3s and full LP downloads at Groove Addict