Jim Jackson (c.1884 - 1937) was an African American blues and hokum singer, songster and guitarist, whose recordings in the late 1920s were popular and influential on later artists.
Jackson was born in Hernando, Mississippi, United States, and was raised on a farm, where he learned to play guitar. Around 1905 he started working as a singer, dancer, and musician in medicine shows, playing dances and parties often with other local musicians such as Gus Cannon, Frank Stokes and Robert Wilkins. He soon began traveling with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels, featuring Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, and other minstrel shows.
He also played clubs on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. His popularity and proficiency secured him a residency at Memphis's prestigious Peabody Hotel in 1919. Like Lead Belly, Jackson knew hundreds of songs including blues, ballads, vaudeville numbers, and traditional tunes, and became a popular attraction.
In 1927, talent scout H. C. Speir signed him to a recording contract with Vocalion Records. On October 10, 1927, he recorded "Jim Jackson's Kansas City Blues."
Jackson's first record, "Jim Jackson's Kansas City Blues, Part 1 & 2" (recorded 10 October 1927 for Vocalion Records) was one of the first, and biggest race hits. The song's melody line was re-used and developed by Charlie Patton ("Going To Move To Alabama") and Hank Williams ("Move It On Over") before emerging in "Rock Around The Clock", and its lyrical content presaged Leiber and Stoller's "Kansas City." The song contains the line "It takes a rocking chair to rock, a rubber ball to roll..." and is mentioned as one of the candidates to the First rock and roll record.
Jim Jackson, v, g.
Recorded in Chicago on October, 10, 1927.
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