I’m in Heaven When You Smile

I had a Van Morrison record, Saint Dominic’s Preview, and for years I loved the first song which referenced Jackie Wilson, a singer I didn’t know. Recently went on a Jackie Wilson marathon, what an icon and memorable artist. A wee bit obvious someone who’s name rhymes with pelvis was also captivated by Jackie Wilson. Similar to when you see a comedian and you recognize they’re obviously in love with the work of so and so who is also on the circuit (but the other person was the originator). The chapter of his story that stung most was the manipulations of his manager Nat Tarnopol. Jackie Wilson wrote with songwriting partners and did covers but his manager has songwriting and publishing credits even his son (who wasn’t yet born) is listed as the sole writer of a Jackie Wilson song called Doggin’ Around. The revenue stream went to them not to Jackie Wilson who suffered a heart attack in mid life and lay in a coma. The millions of dollars generated by him were controlled and received by other people ever since he was in his 20s. Often people talk about the music business as though it has unique criminal elements but I never thought about it that way, business is business. Seems to me if one can steal by virtue of how they are positioned they do it. I admire the exceptions but they’re exceptions. Wonder if the democrats will get his tax returns and what new plot points might result. One day an exception might even get an audition to play lead.

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