In an earlier post, we looked at Jackie Wilson’s very memorable first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, which took place in 1960. Two other of the six Sullivan performances are available on YouTube currently, both from 1962. In January, Jackie performed “That’s Why (I Love You So).” It’s less than a year after he was shot twice at the door to his New York City apartment, losing a kidney but retaining a bullet for the rest of his life (see Biography page), but Jackie is fit and fantastic.
The vocal is simply incredible, and you can hear Jackie’s finger snaps and hand claps. At one point this past spring I read a YouTube comment by a young person who said that the microphone was in Jackie’s tie tack. Sorry, but that would be a diamond in Jackie’s tie tack. There weren’t any teeny tiny mikes on singers of that era. Sullivan’s technicians used an overhead boom microphone, much as was used in movies at the time.
In May, Jackie performed “Lonely Teardrops” again, and his delivery of his signature tune on this occasion was, if anything, more spectacular than his first Sullivan performance of the hit. This time we get an extra dose of the boxing moves Jackie learned as a teenager.
Early into the song, there is one slight betrayal of hoarseness (around 0:43). Jackie pulls through the moment amazingly and produces a flawless vocal for the remainder of the number. If you are tempted to take this performance at all lightly, just try executing Jackie’s moves without even singing.
[I’m pausing here for those of you who still haven’t recovered from that knee drop.]
Not so easy, is it? And did you look that good? I know, I know. You don’t have a silk shirt with those classy little pleats.