(Left to right) Billy Jackson (of the Revels), Little Leopold and Frenchie (of Little Isidore and the Inquisitors)
TJ Lubinsky (producer of national PBS music specials), Johnny Gale (of the Inquisitors), Broadcast Pioneers member Jerry Blavat
Sam Hart and Henry Colough (of the Revels), Eddie Holman, Little Isidore
John Jones (of the Revels) and Weldon McDougal of the Larks.
Thursday, December 2, 1999
Billy Jackson always had an ear for music. Harold Lipsius who ran Universal Record Distributing credits Jackson with bringing "Bye, Bye Love" by the Everly Brothers to his attention. The label, Cadence, was pushing it as a country song but Bill thought it could go pop. Of course, by then, Billy was part of "The Revels" who had a big hit called "False Alarm" in 1955. The group also had "The Midnight Stoll," which was retitled that after Dick Clark complained that the original title, "The Deadman's Stroll" just didn't fit in with the "G rating" of American Bandstand. Unlike "At the Hop" which was actually re-cut from "Do the Bop," The Midnight Stoll was issued as is with the group singing the words "the Deadman's Stroll." They also had success with "When You Come Back to Me."
Brought to the attention of Bernie Lowe & Kal Mann, Billy became a house producer, talent coordinator and A&R man for the "hot" Cameo-Parkway labels. He produced and co-wrote the "The Tymes" number one hit, So Much in Love." Billy Jackson then went to Columbia Records and worked with Clive Davis. It was at Columbia that Billy produced Ronnie Dyson's smash hit of "If You Let Me Make Love to You." While there, he worked with Arthea Franklin, Miles Davis and many others.
Note that Billy Jackson produced the Tymes' Big Hit "You Little Trustmaker." Well, Billy was showing George Williams (lead for The Tymes) how to sing the song and to make a long story short, Jackson ended up doing the lead on "You Little Trustmaker" and he wasn't ever part of the group. Few people knew that. He also produced, "Ms Grace" which went to the number one chart position in England.
During the rock and roll, doo-wop revival on public television, Billy Jackson and the Revels along with Tymes appeared on the Channel 12, WHYY-TV specials. Broadcast Pioneers president Gerry Wilkinson, who produced some of these doo-wop events at WHYY said, "Billy Jackson is mult-talented. Without Billy, the music wouldn't be what it is today. To show you what kind of a guy Billy is, he spends much of his time taking care of his 92 year old father."
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo originally donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Gerry Wilkinson
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