Yeah, it’s good to honor folks like Lena Horne and Sammy Davis, Jr., but we cannot forget the original queen of raunch, Millie Jackson. In case you don’t know, Millie Jackson was the first Lil’ Kim. Her music was graphic, explicit, comical and mortified a whole generation in the seventies. Millie once said people are embarrassed to say they own her records. Today, the Grammy nominee turns 64 years-old.
I first got turned on to Millie Jackson in my late teens by a friend of mine who loved to lip synch Millie Jackson’s songs. He wasn’t a drag queen, but if there was an audience of at least two he would put a shirt on his head (you know, as a wig) and run around his apartment singing Millie’s Caught Up album. At the time I didn’t really appreciate it, but this was the same guy who introduced me to Nina Simone and Phyllis Hyman—I eventually became a Millie fan.
I’m not sure how true this is but rumor has it Millie was discovered when she was at a nightclub and heckling one of the female performers on stage. Millie supposedly, “I can do better than that!” The performer and Millie got into an argument until the performer said, ”Well, come on stage and do it!” Millie jumped up and allegedly sang the hell out of “Don’t Play It No More” by Ben E. King. The rest is history…
Millie Jackson’s biggest hit is 1973’s “Hurt So Good”, which hit #24 on the Pop Singles chart (now called the Billboard Hot 100). However, she garnered several hits on the Black Singles chart (now called R&B) like "A Child of God (It's Hard to Believe)” (1971), “If You’re Not Back In Love By Monday” (1977), “Love Is A Dangerous Game” (1987). Today, in this age of Internet, Millie is remembered for her graphic album covers like Back to the Shit!, E.S.P. (Extra Sexual Persuasion), and I Had To Say It.
Last I heard Millie Jackson now hosts a radio show in Atlanta.
Check out this raw 1984 performance of “"(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right", which was originally recorded in 1974… the story of a mistress being in love with a married man. This must be JL King’s theme song!
Labels: Old School
Posted by Clay ::
10:30 AM ::