Mike Jackson

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Continuing interest in raunchy, rollicking classic blues recordings has kept the work of pianist and songwriter Mike Jackson in circulation. He should not be confused with a keyboardist, bandleader, and…
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Continuing interest in raunchy, rollicking classic blues recordings has kept the work of pianist and songwriter Mike Jackson in circulation. He should not be confused with a keyboardist, bandleader, and sessionman from a half-century later whose specialty was funk, not to mention the more formally first-named superstar who eventually fled to Dubai. The Jackson of the Roaring Twenties might have had the latter performer in mind when he wrote "Scandal Blues" in the mid-'20s, had Michael Jackson existed then. As it is, it is difficult to determine what the songwriter had in mind, since "Scandal Blues" was apparently considered too scandalous to publish.

Other Jackson songs were indeed published, sometimes in connection with one of his performances as a piano accompanist, sometimes not. "Louisville Blues," a popular number dating from 1921, was written by Jackson in collaboration with fellow pianist Bob Ricketts and provided musicologists with a typical clue pertaining to Jackson's historical background. In 1925 Jackson published "Black Hearse Blues," one of many potent death songs from the blues repertoire.

Sexy material was also quite common with performers such as Jackson, if not representing the most popular type of song from this genre. "Meat Man Pete" was considered such a winner that it was eventually shopped over to the talented Georgia country blues artist Barbecue Bob. A vintage recording by a group known as Jackson and His Southern Stompers has been identified by some discographers as being the work of this keyboardist, yet other historical records indicate Mike Jackson was on an extended Canadian sojourn when the sides in question were cut.