Most notable for being among the few pre-Elvis Presley rock acts signed by RCA-Victor, the specifics surrounding the group are not that well known and there are no pictures to even definitively identify who’s who.

It would appear there were four of them, George played bass, Billy was a sax player, Don sang sometimes – though not all the time – while Wilfred wrote their material but didn’t play or sing. The instrumental lineup was rounded out by others while the lead singer was Billy Henderson.

Their first effort for RCA in 1952 is what gives them legitimacy as rockers, and while at a glance some might assume “We’re Gonna Rock This Joint” is merely a longer titled re-make of the Jimmy Preston hit that Chris Powell and later Bill Haley both did well, it’s actually an original that is much different, though in some ways much wilder, even if it is a little too calculating in trying for a wild response.

The rest of their material couldn’t equal that, but they apparently wound up record behind Jesse Belvin on the West Coast for Money Records in mid-decade, so their credentials are a little more well-rounded than just a few tunes early on. However because of the common last name within music, especially for siblings – not just their fellow Gary, Indiana natives either – it’s at this point their story and that of others with the same name becomes more muddled.

Yet whatever became of them, they are notable in that they did manage to release some authentic rock material for a company that tended to resist such things and that alone should ensure they’re not entirely forgotten, even if they’re still far too hard to really know much about otherwise.

THE JACKSON BROTHERS DISCOGRAPHY (Records Reviewed On Spontaneous Lunacy):

(RCA 20-5004; October, 1952)
A wild and frantic – if somewhat overly planned – rocker that proves its legitimacy with a passionate lead vocal by Billy Henderson and some decent sax playing by Billy Jackson on a song his brother Wilfred wrote that sounds too authentic to be a send-up. (7)

(RCA 20-5004; October, 1952)
Though hardly very adventurous or cutting edge, this nevertheless proves they weren’t just masquerading as a rock act because this mournful lament has some good lyrics and uses the appropriate rock touches rather than switch to pop or jazz inspired backing. (3)