Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

Lil' Son Jackson CDs

Document Records have 1 Lil' Son Jackson CD in it's back catalogue. If you wish to buy the Lil' Son Jackson CD please click the link below.
Lil' Son Jackson Volume 2 will be released in July 06.










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Lil' Son Jackson Volume 1 Rockin' and Rollin'

“I never did take music to be a thing that I could make a livin’ of; I didn’t even think about that because I was a mechanic - mechanic-inclined - I like to work on automobiles.”
So said Lil' Son Jackson being interviewed in 1960. Fortunately for us he did take time out from fixing motors to record these 23 great tracks between the years of 1948 and 1950. Jackson was part of the raw Chicago "Down Homes" sound popularised by Memphis Minnie, Johnnie Temple and Arthur Crudup which would explode in the late forties and throughout the fifties.
In 1948 Jackson was persuaded to make the 250 mile trip to Houston and record a demo for the Gold Star record company. Gold Star's owner, Bill Quinn, liked what he heard on the demo and decided to record and release four titles by Jackson. Roberta Blues, Freedom Train Blues, Ground Hog Blues and Bad Whiskey Bad Woman are the first 4 tracks on the Rockin' and Rollin' CD. The remainder of the CD features further tracks cut for Gold Star, Modern and Imperial.


Brief biography of Melvin 'Lil' Son' Jackson

Like a number of Texas bluesmen, Lil' Son Jackson had a short-lived music career during the post-W.W.II period when labels like Gold Star put out singles for the rural jukebox trade, only to have the rug pulled out from under him when music tastes shifted to R&B and R&R. For Jackson that meant he went back to making a living as a garage mechanic and occasionally singing in church.
Melvin Jackson was born in a town called Tyler, half-way between Dallas and Shreveport, in August 1916. Melvin learned the rudiments of guitar playing from his father Johnny Jackson who was a singer and musician. He also sang for the local Holiness Baptist Church Choir.
At the age of sixteen and without his parents permission, Melvin left home, settling in Dallas, working at odd jobs. He kept up his interest in music with frequent appearances for a gospel group singing spirituals at local church gatherings. By the early 40s Jackson began to concentrate on secular music and the blues, developing his own idiosyncratic style of guitar playing and singing.
Melvin was about 30 years old when he joined the U.S. Army. He saw action in Europe for 2 years during the war,returning to Dallas in 1946.
Once again he was working as a handy man, finding jobs in the local area. In 1948, he was persuaded by his friends to cut a demonstration record in an amusement arcade booth and sent the recording to Bill Quinn of the Quinn Recording Company based in Houston, Texas. The company was looking for Texas blues and rhythm performers for its Gold Star label and it was here that Jackson made his recording debut in the Summer of 1948. He was called Lil' Son Jackson by the label, a name which would stick for the rest of his life. His very first recording was "Roberta Blues" / "Freedom Blues" on Gold Star, followed by "Ground Hog Blues" and "Bad Whiskey-Bad Women". With these songs Jackson became a new rising star on the Texas blues scene.
In 1949 he followed up his first recording for Gold Star with another session which included the songs "Gone With The Wind She's Gone" and "No Money No Love", "Cairo Blues" and "Evil Blues". The success of these records enabled Jackson to record again later in the year for Gold Star, producing the sides "Gambling Blues" and "Homeless Blues".
These would be the last sides for Gold Star as by this time the West Coast record companies began to show interest.He recorded one session for Modern Records, releasing "Talking Blues" and "Milford Blues". In 1950 Jackson made the move to California's major independent label Imperial Records and would remain with them for most of the decade. His first recordings for the label were "Ticket Agent Blues" and "True Love Blues". By the late October of the same year "Ticket Agent Blues" became a top R & B seller in the city of Dallas. Two further sides were recorded during this session, "Evening Blues" and "Tough Luck Blues". In December of the same year Jackson recorded
"Rockin' And Rollin'" with "Peace Breaking People" as the flip side. The same session would see him record "Two Timin' Woman", "Rocky Road",
"Disgusted" and "Travelin' Alone".
Jackson went on to record more tracks with Imperial both as a solo artist and with his band called the "The Rockin' and Rollers". But by early 1955 music tastes had moved from country made blues to Rhytmn & Blues and Rock & Roll. Rather than face a life on the road getting gigs when he could, Jackson decided to go back to his job as a mechanic and being an handy man on the side.
By the late 1960s his health began to suffer and during the early seventies he was hospitalized and in May of 1976 he passed away.
Lil' Son Jackson was one of the many outstanding blues practitioners from the state of Texas and should be remembered for the style of his guitar playing and the prodigious amount of recordings that he cut for Imperial in the early fifties.

 

 

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