Walter Jackson

Walter Jackson was '60s Chicago soul at its sweetest and, occasionally, most mainstream. In the mid-'60s, he had a brace of solid R&B hits -- "Suddenly I'm All Alone," "It's an Uphill Climb (To the Bottom)," "Speak Her Name," "Welcome Home," "A Corner in the Sun" -- without ever rising higher than the lower reaches of the Top 100. Recording for the OKeh stable, which was home to the top Chi-Town soul talent, he benefited for a time from the production services of local masters Carl Davis and Curtis Mayfield, who handled the Impressions, Major Lance, Gene Chandler, and others. His sides employed similar punchy brass and strings, but in a smoother, more urbane fashion; Jackson was also comfortable with occasional outings into pure supper-club pop with nary a trace of R&B.