Over Jackie Wilson
Among the most important of the early soul stars, a club which counts among its members such influential talents as Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, is Jackie Wilson. Best known for chart-toppers such as "Lonely Teardrops" and "Higher and Higher," Wilson was one of the most dynamic vocalists of his era and therefore able to leap octaves in a single bound; and his vibrato melted his lyrics into silky, flowing notes. His R&B songs were accented not only by Wilson's lush balladry, but by the elaborate string and backing arrangements that flowed through his roster of hits. Unfortunately, Wilson's career was cut short in 1975 after suffering a heart attack on stage while performing, leaving him comatose for nearly a decade following. Based on the body of work left behind, Wilson was ultimately recognized as one of the critical forces in the development of '50s soul and '60s Motown music.