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He's So Fine

Jackie Wilson

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Album Review

In 1957, Jackie Wilson left the Dominoes and released this debut album on Brunswick Records a year later. The new songwriting team of Berry Gordy, Jr. & Tyran Carlo (aka Billy Davis) wrote six of the 12 songs. Backed by a big band, Wilson belts out "Reet Petite" like it's an Olympic event, displaying his irresistible vocal gymnastics; "Etcetera" treads the same path, but lacks the dynamics. "To Be Loved" and "Danny Boy," the old standard, are heartfelt, stately ballads. Wilson wrote "Come Back to Me," a rather bland jump tune. An overblown big-band sound mars all but the most crafted creations, and there's no denying Wilson's fantastic takes, but the Brunswick sound may be a bit too full for die-hard soul lovers.

Biography

Born: June 9, 1934 in Detroit, MI

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

Jackie Wilson was one of the most important agents of black pop's transition from R&B into soul. In terms of vocal power (especially in the upper register), few could outdo him; he was also an electrifying on-stage showman. He was a consistent hitmaker from the mid-'50s through the early '70s, although never a crossover superstar. His reputation isn't quite on par with Ray Charles, James Brown, or Sam Cooke, however, because his records did not always reflect his artistic genius. Indeed, there...
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