Favorite

More West Memphis soul 

click to enlarge ANDREW LOVE: Joined Wayne Jackson in Memphis Horns.
  • ANDREW LOVE: Joined Wayne Jackson in Memphis Horns.



(Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series.)

After helping craft the Memphis R&B sound of the 1960s, trumpeter Wayne Jackson of West Memphis had many avenues to explore.

Right out of the West Memphis High School band, the Crittenden County native recorded a hit his first day in the studio on the Mar-Keys instrumental “Last Night.” He sessioned mainly at Stax Records, appearing on such sides as “Knock on Wood,” “Respect,” and “Hold On! I’m Coming.” But a 1967 Stax tour of Europe showed many how widely popular their music was.

Jackson and Booker T and the MG’s bassist “Duck” Dunn reluctantly had to give up their six-night-a-week gig at the Memphis club Hernando’s Hideaway to take the trip. The Beatles sent their limos to pick up the musicians and singers at the airport, where they were mobbed by press and fans. “We didn’t know we were stars,” Jackson said. “We had had an impact.”

By 1969, Jackson and Andrew Love had left Stax Records and gone out on their own. They incorporated as the Memphis Horns, changing their name from the Mar-Key Horns.

“We didn’t have a choice,” Jackson says. “I went back in [Stax owner Jim Stewart’s] office and said ‘We’d like to be off the payroll.’ Because we just felt like there was a career out there in the world for us, and we needed to go see about it. We were young — we were 27, and it was time to spread our wings. And we did.”

Jackson and Love doubled their fee — and still found themselves busy. Also in 1969, their work with another Memphis entertainer, Elvis Presley, helped Presley score his first No. 1 single in seven years, “Suspicious Minds.”

“Our tones match,” Jackson says of playing with Love. “As a section, when we played, it had a distinct sound to it. I knew Andrew and I had something special. We just decided one day to stick together.”

So, after an already impressive resume, the Memphis Horns found themselves on the road and in the studio with the biggest stars of the 1970s — Rod Stewart, the Doobie Brothers and Wayne Jackson’s fellow East Arkansas native Al Green.

Jackson and Love finished out the century as revered masters, even celebrating their anniversary at Memphis’ Pyramid. The Memphis Horns recorded with such 1980s and 1990s hitmakers as U2, Sting, Steve Winwood, Bonnie Raitt, Collective Soul, Robert Cray, Peter Gabriel and Willie Nelson.

The Memphis Horns released their own album in 1970, and issued several more through the decade, four on RCA Records. Jackson and Love resumed recording Memphis Horns albums in the 1990s, including a 1996 Christmas record and a 1995 release with guests such as Mavis Staples, William Bell and Etta James.

In 2000, Wayne Jackson released a solo album, “Sweet Medicine Music,” and in 2005 self-published his memoirs, “In My Wildest Dreams: A Collection of Rock and Roll Tales, Volume One.”

While not discounting his days in the Doobies or on latter-day songs like “Angel of Harlem” and “Sledgehammer,” Jackson adds, “I didn’t know that the Stax records were going to hold up like they’ve held up — the ones that you hear on the elevator in South Africa, or in Tokyo, wherever you go, you hear ‘Try a Little Tenderness.’ But the lyrics and the grooves were all there — big time.”

listening
• “Things Get Better,” Eddie Floyd
• “Angel of Harlem,” U2
• “Let’s Stay Together,” Al Green
• “Suspicious Minds,” Elvis Presley
• “In The Ghetto,” Elvis Presley

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Stephen Koch

  • Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires

    Also, Outlaw Music Festival, Little Tybee, Terminal Nation, Liz Brasher, Architecture and Design Network Talk from Jeff Shannon, Good Foot and more
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • Brit Floyd at Verizon Arena

    Pink Floyd tribute band Brit Floyd brought its Immersion tour to the north shore Monday. Blame it on post-Riverfest musical exhaustion or the earliness in the week, but the perennial arena favorite played to a smallish crowd of 1,218 with a few rowdy flashes.
    • Jun 6, 2017
  • Riverfest 2017: flute solos, fireworks and fidget spinners

    Whether you had a good time at Riverfest largely depends on when you were there. We've yet to get a report of the attendance numbers, but eyeballing the crowds this year in comparison to last year's tells us the intermittent rain deterred plenty of potential Riverfesters.
    • Jun 5, 2017
  • More »

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Arkansongs

  • Floyd Cramer's country keys

    Floyd Cramer, who grew up in Huttig, became one of the most important piano players in the development of country music.
    • May 3, 2007
  • Dorough finds his voice

    From his beginnings in Cherry Hill, Bob Dorough knew music was his thing.
    • Mar 15, 2007
  • ‘Sunday Afternoon’

    Soundtrack album forges on without film.
    • Jan 25, 2007
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: On "Beyond Scared Straight"

    • I need to find a scared straight program for my 14 yr old daughter here…

    • on July 20, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation