Saxophonist who cut a few records on his own as a sideline from his regular job with Joe Liggins band.

Jackson who was born in 1912 first began playing with pianist Liggins in the 1930’s in Sand Diego. The two moved to Los Angeles where they formed a group that would become known in time as The Honeydrippers, named after Liggins’ biggest hit, one of the defining black records of the pre-rock era on which Jackson was the featured horn.

The group, for all of its importance to the evolving musical scene that led to rock ‘n’ roll, never ventured into rock themselves, content to play a milder, more refined style that remained equally popular as rock through the early 1950’s, skewing towards a slightly older audience.

With a recording ban set to take place in 1948 record labels were desperate for material to issue throughout the shutdown and so Jackson was afforded the opportunity to cut sides on his own for Modern Records, though with Liggins and the rest of the Honeydrippers backing him. On a few of these sides Jackson broke out of their usual approach and ventured into the outer fringes of rock, but never with the intent on becoming a rocker himself, or of setting out on his own.

Jackson, who was blind since birth, remained with Liggins throughout his career, playing with him to the very end when Joe died in 1987. As for Jackson, he lived until 20001, yet only spent a few minutes of those 88 years in the outskirts of rock.
LITTLE WILLIE JACKSON DISCOGRAPHY (Reviews To Date on Spontaneous Lunacy):
(Modern 20-566; January, 1948)
Reasonable and somewhat charming attempt by non-rock outfit to fit into rock milieu with Jackson turning in good performance on both alto and baritone sax, augmented by solid playing of the other members of Joe Liggins’ Honeydrippers incognito. (4)