The blog will be a year old this week, and I want to thank you readers for making it successful. So far, jackiewilsonlovers.com has had over 15,000 “views” by people in over ninety countries, numbers that far exceed the expectations I had when I began this project. The success of the blog indicates that there is still significant interest in Jackie Wilson.
If you are familiar with the WordPress interface, you know that the blogger can see a “stats” page that tracks views by country and indicates which posts receive the greatest number of views. The stats page also shows a list of search terms that brought people to the blog. While the terms don’t indicate which viewer used them, of course, or even indicate the searcher’s country, the terms themselves are interesting. Again and again, people come to the blog looking for photos of Jackie Wilson’s children or information about them.
My policy is to comment on Jackie’s children only if they put themselves in the public eye. For example, Jackie’s oldest daughter by his first wife chose to be interviewed by Tony Douglas, so I have commented on her. That’s Denise the Daughter from Hell to the left of this text. Denise had not one kind word about her father, who never seemed to do enough to please her. If you parse the pages of the Douglas book carefully, you will find that Denise attended a private (Catholic) school for which her father paid the tuition and that she relates a story about showing up in her father’s dressing room in the late 1960s wearing a dress more expensive than most American women could afford today . . . a dress her father paid for, of course. But she complains bitterly that he missed attending her “sweet sixteen” party. In another comment, she complains that when he came home, the family felt compelled to be playing his records upon his arrival, which they found burdensome, so maybe Jackie thought he was doing her a favor by staying away from her birthday bash. Or perhaps he was just too busy singing himself hoarse to pay for the celebration.
A number of Jackie Wilson’s children have passed away (Denise among them). In fact, two of his older children died before he did. If a living child of Jackie’s has never spoken publicly about him, I assume that individual either wants to keep his or her privacy or does not wish to be associated with his or her father. Consequently, I have indicated in the Biography page the names of the children Jackie acknowledged, and I have spoken of those children, such as Jack Leroy Jr, only when they are a necessary factor in Jackie’s life story. Yes, I do know what happened to some of the others, and I do have photos of many of them as children, but they will not appear on the blog unless they want to or speak publicly about their father.
Finally, I want to note that I will not help publicize people who shamelessly exploit Jackie Wilson through claims of being his biological offspring when Jackie Wilson never knew of their existence.