Wayne Jackson

Read about our special day at Stax Museum and Wayne Jackson’s home

 

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Wayne and Elvis

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Amy and Wayne

Today was a bit like a dream.

We did a few other things today but nothing seems important after our joyous meeting with Wayne Jackson and his wife Amy.

Our friends Merryn and Ray from Mezray Tours had given me a contact point to arrange a possible private tour through the Stax Soul Museum in Memphis with Wayne and his wife and it came through – we met with the charming couple today. 20130914-191541.jpg There he is, centre at the back with the trumpet. Also pictured are Otis Redding (back to camera), Isaac Hayes is to the right, there’s Booker T and the MG’s and the rest of The Memphis Horns, of which Wayne was a founder.

Firstly some facts about Wayne Jackson.

He recorded a hit song his first day in the studio. He’s played on 52 Number One records and 83 Gold and Platinum records. He’s toured the world and shared the stage with many of the most influential artists in modern music.

Wayne played in the junior high and senior high bands taking all honors at the local and state level. Soon he was sneaking out the back window to go play at the Jungle Inn on Highway Seventy. And then it happened. In the 12th grade, he found himself playing with a group called The Mar-Keys. They had a number one instrumental smash called, “Last Night.” It was 1961.

What followed was a magical ride making music history with Otis, Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Isaac Hayes, Eddie Floyd, Albert King and the rest of the Stax Records roster. “Back then, we had to do those songs from front to back with no mistakes and with good feelings. That’s what made musicians out of us. That’s what trained us. Now musicians all around the world judge their performances against those records with us on them, and that’s why we’re heroes.”

In 1969, Wayne and sax man, Andrew Love, incorporated as The Memphis Horns and began offering their signature sound to artists around the world. Wayne found himself in the studio with a host of stars such as Elvis, Neil Diamond, B.J. Thomas, James Taylor, Al Green, Aretha Franklin and out on the road touring with Stephen Stills, Rod Stewart and The Doobie Brothers (including a heady tour of Australia with the latter).

After moving to Nashville in the late Seventies, Wayne decided to trade in life on rock and roll jetliners for life on a billybus. He spent three years traveling the roads with country music legend, Marty Robbins, during which time he became the only horn player ever to perform on the Grand Ole Opry. Then in the mid-Eighties Peter Gabriel called, and Wayne’s work on “Sledgehammer” catapulted him back on top of rock and roll. Here’s recognition of Wayne’s contribution to Gabriel’s monster So album.

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Wayne has been in the studio with Neil Young, U2, Billy Joel, Steve Winwood, Bonnie Raitt, Sting, Jack White, Lenny Kravitz, Collective Soul, just to name a few, and on the road with Stephen Stills, The Doobie Brothers, Joe Cocker, Jimmy Buffett, Robert Cray, Luther Allison. Wayne’s work with Neil Young on Prairie Wind is evidenced on the DVD with Neil at the Ryman Auditorium.

We were honored to be with Wayne and Amy today in Stax.  Insights behind the scenes were precious.  Then to top it off, we were invited for a brief visit to their beautiful condo.  What we saw at their home was amazing – memories – his trumpet imprint in rock ‘n’ roll history – photos of Wayne with Elvis Presley and John Wayne.  Hand-signed notes from famous artists.  Not to mention this Grammy for a Life-Time Achievement Award, presented to The Memphis Horns in 2012.

 

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Wayne has a set of three books, chronicling his amazing musical journey. They are an impressive set to match his impressive accomplishments.  To sum it all up, Wayne on his website says, “My life, so far, has been filled with Sweet Medicine and is a bridge spanning five generations of American music.  To us today Wayne said: “music has been my life – I’ve done nothing else”.  Well Wayne I want to thank you for today ….and for everything.

If you are interested in purchasing his books – you can go Amazon, iTunes etc or get them from his website.  If you would like to have the same unforgettable experience as us and have a personal tour, go to the link below and follow the ‘for visitors to memphis’ tab.  You won’t be sorry.  Jenny, Richard and Sandra will I think vouch for that as well.

http://www.waynejacksonmusic.com/

Some source material for this article from www.waynejacksonmusic.com

 

Read about our special day at Stax Museum and Wayne Jackson’s home

Read about our special day at Stax Museum and Wayne Jackson’s home

Read about our special day at Stax Museum and Wayne Jackson’s home

Read about our special day at Stax Museum and Wayne Jackson’s home

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Author: Rob Dickens

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