1960 Jackie Wilson – Doggin’ Around
Billy Ward formed the Dominoes in 1950 and was fortunate enough to include Clyde McPhatter as one of the singers. The group was successful in R&B circles and toured extensively. In 1953, Clyde decided to leave the group and form the Drifters. He helped Jackie Wilson join the Dominoes as his replacement.
The Dominoes had one semi-successful hit with Jackie singing lead. Jackie grew unhappy with his role with the Dominoes and left to pursue a solo career in 1957. His career got off to a slow start, but he managed to have a #1 R&B single in each of the next three years.
Jackie’s highest-charting single on the pop charts was Night. Camille Saint-Saëns wrote the opera Samson and Delilah, and Night was based on an aria in the opera. The single entered the charts in March 1960 and peaked at #4 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B chart two months later.
The B-side of the record did not get lost while Night was running up the charts. Doggin’ Around was also a hit. The first five seconds of the single are enough to get most listeners to stop what they are doing and listen to the rest of the strong R&B song. That side of the record hit the charts the same week as Night and also peaked the same week. It only reached #15 on the Hot 100 but easily reached #1 on the R&B chart.
As a result of his myriad improvised dance moves and other antics on stage, Jackie clearly influenced the performances of James Brown, Teddy Pendergrass, Michael Jackson, and Elvis Presley. He even earned the nickname “Mr. Excitement.”
Jackie continued to have hits through 1970, after which drug addiction and personal family tragedies took a toll on him. He had a heart attack in 1975 and remained in a semi-conscious state until his death from pneumonia in 1984.
Beginning in 2017, Jackie became one of the earliest artists to appear in concert courtesy of holograms of his past performances.
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