With over 500 songs written or co-written by him in the BMI database, George Jackson’s songwriting was prolific. He wrote or co-wrote hits for Clarence Carter (the gold single “Too Weak to Fight”), Wilson Pickett (“A Man and a Half”), Bob Seger (“Old Time Rock and Roll,” “Trying to Live My Life Without You”) Z.Z. Hill (“Down Home Blues”), and the Osmonds (the million-selling “One Bad Apple” and “Double Lovin’”), among others.
George Jackson wrote and cut several tracks at the Sounds of Memphis Studio in the 70s. A fantastic compilation of these songs was released by Ace Records, “George Jackson in Memphis 1972-1977: The Sounds of Memphis and XL Recordings.” His personal releases were on the MGM/SOM, Chess and ER Music labels. The vaults of Sounds of Memphis, now Simply Grand Music, Inc. were preserved by president, Linda Lucchesi. These releases are timeless Memphis soul gems. His work with Dan Greer, Raymond Moore, The Ovations, Spencer Wiggins is woven into the Sounds of Memphis tapes. Songs like, “Aretha, Sing One for Me”, “Things Are Getting Better”, “How Can I Get Next to You”, “Walking the City Streets”, “(If I Could Get On That) Soul Train”, and “I Don’t Need You No More” highlight his range and storytelling ability.
George also never hesitated to work with new songwriters and share his experiences and knowledge. He proved to be a mentor to countless songwriter’s aspiring to be as successful as George Jackson. Although George lived in Mississippi for most of his life, the time he spent in Memphis left a definite mark.
It is a shame that George didn’t receive the accolades he deserved for being such a prolific songwriter while he was alive. Thankfully, his recordings and songs will live on forever and many generations to come will enjoy his talent. We will miss our “Old Friend”.