There is a bootleg recording, reputedly from Jackie Wilson’s last complete concert, captured just days before he collapsed. The audio file may be his last recorded spoken words and the last recorded notes he sang.
If so, it testifies to how great Jackie was at the end, because the medley surrounding “Lonely Teardrops” is outstanding, the ethereal performance of “Doggin’ Around” is one of his most memorable, and the few lines he sings from “My Way” contain some of the sweetest notes you will ever hear.
You know, ladies and gentlemen, it’s a pleasure to be back, like I said, and God knows I hope to be back in the near future, very soon. Thank you very much. In the meanwhile, may I say . . . whatever goes up . . . has a tendency . . . most time . . . to come down. Now we all know that. We also know that what goes around eventually comes around. But I’d like to say that nobody . . . but nobody . . . does anything wrong . . . unless . . . they want to do it. By the same token, no one does anything right . . . unless . . . they want to do it. Think about me, and I’ll be damned if I won’t think about you. Listen . . .
You know, I planned each charted course,
And, oh Lord, I traveled each and every highway and byway,
Ah, but more, much more, much more, much more, oh, oh, oh Lord, much more than this
[spoken: Ha, ha, ha, ha]
I did it my . . . [spoken: I love you] . . . wa-ay.
Powerful people wanted Jackie Wilson forgotten, but we have the power to preserve his memory. Let’s think about Jackie and love him as he loved us, his fans.