Passings: Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns (1941 - 2016)

by VVN Music

Wayne Jackson, trumpet player for the Memphis Horns, died on Tuesday night from congestive heart failure at the age of 74.

Jackson had been hospitalized but released on June 7. According to his wife, Amy Jackson, he took a turn for the worse on Monday night. "He led an incredible life and he left an amazing music legacy."

Wayne originally played guitar, appearing in talent shows at an early age in his hometown of West Memphis, AK. When he was 11, his mother gave him a trumpet which he mastered, playing throughout his schooling.

In the early 60's, he joined the Mar-Keys and appeared on their hit Last Night (1961 / #3) which sent him across the country touring with the likes of Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn and Packy Axton.

Jackson began working with other Stax artists and, one day, he met tenor saxophone player Andrew Love who had been working at Hi Records. The two, along with four others, became the Memphis Horns, backing virtually every Stax artist of the time including Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Eddie Floyd and Rufus Thomas.

Eventually the sextet became just the duo of Jackson and Love who not only worked at Stax but throughout the south including Hi and American Studios, playing for artists on other labels like Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett.

They toured Europe in 1967 with the Stax/Volt Review and backed Otis Redding on his immortal set at Monterey but their relationship with Stax came to an end two years later when the label tried to block them from working with any other label. It was probably the best move of their career as the Memphis Horns went on to back everyone from Elvis to U2 over the next two decades.

Andrew was forced to retire in 2004 after developing Alzheimer's disease but Wayne kept the legacy going. The duo was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2008, four years before Love's death.

A very abbreviated list of the thousands of tracks and abums on which the Memphis Horns played:

  • Walking the Dog - Rufus Thomas
  • Mr. Pitiful - Otis Redding
  • Respect - Otis Redding
  • In the Midnight Hour - Wilson Pickett
  • I've Been Loving You Too Long - Otis Redding
  • Memphis Soul Stew - King Curtis
  • B-A-B-Y - Carla Thomas
  • Hold On I'm Coming - Sam and Dave
  • Knock on Wood - Eddie Floyd
  • I'm Your Puppet - James & Bobby Purify
  • Land of 1000 Dances - Wilson Pickett
  • When a Man Loves a Woman - Percy Sledge
  • Skinny Legs and All - Joe Tex
  • I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) - Aretha Franklin
  • (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman - Aretha Franklin
  • Funky Broadway - Wilson Pickett
  • Soul Man - Sam & Dave
  • Respect - Aretha Franklin
  • Think - Aretha Franklin
  • I Thank You - Sam & Dave
  • Since You've Been Gone - Aretha Franklin
  • Hooked on a Feeling - B.J. Thomas
  • The Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding
  • Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show - Neil Diamond
  • Hot Buttered Soul - Isaac Hayes
  • Son of a Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
  • Holly Holy - Neil Diamond
  • Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond
  • In the Ghetto - Elvis Presley
  • Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley
  • The Letter - Joe Cocker
  • Kentucky Rain - Elvis Presley
  • Cracklin' Rosie - Neil Diamond
  • Don't Play That Song - Aretha Franklin
  • Theme From Shaft - Isaac Hayes
  • Tired of Being Alone - Al Green
  • Let's Stay Together - Al Green
  • I'm Still in Love With You - Al Green
  • Drift Away - Dobie Gray
  • I Can't Stand the Rain - Ann Peebles
  • Shotgun Willie - Willie Nelson
  • Ain't Gonna Bump No More - Joe Tex
  • Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel (Wayne only)
  • Don't Be Afraid of the Dark - Robert Cray Band
  • Rattle & Hum - U2
  • Roll With It - Steve Winwood
  • Storm Front - Billy Joel
  • Longing in Their Heart - Bonnie Raitt
  • Mercury Falling - Sting
  • Another Way to Die - Jack White & Alicia Keys (Wayne only)
  • Soulbook - Rod Stewart (Wayne only)

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