Tag Archives: Chuck Jackson

Ben E. King Tribute feat. Chuck Jackson&Lloyd Price



Celebrating its 41st year, Harlem Week kicked off this Sunday, July 26th with “A Great Day in Harlem” at Grant’s Tomb on 122nd Street and Riverside Drive. This event was FREE features live music, including a special tribute to Ben E. King who died on April 30, 2015.

Ben E. King’s longtime friend and peer, a legendary R&B singer in his own right, Lloyd Price performed King’s 1961 big hit “Spanish Harlem.” But one time a great crooner seemed to be struggling to stay on the right note. Price disappeared after one song. Maybe he is getting old (82) but it was disappointing just the same.

Chuck Jackson_1

Another great singer who equally chart topping acts in 1960’s Chuck Jackson came on stage and started singing his signature song “Any Day Now,” the crowd went crazy. Jackson, 78, 4 years junior to Price delivers dynamic, rousing version of his 1962’s great hit. He also dedicated “Stand By Me” to the late Ben E. King.

♪♪~When the night has come And the land is dark And the moon is the only light we’ll see~♪♪

We all sang along with Jackson’ rendition of “Stand By Me.”



7/26(Sun)HARLEM WEEK KICKS OFF WITH “A GREAT DAY IN HARLEM” feat B.B.King & Ben E King Tribute


Sunday, July 26 at U.S. Grant National Memorial Park

Fun Family Day filled with activities for all ages – International Vendor Marketplace, Technology Pavilion, Urban Fashion Show, Cultural Showcase, Gospel Caravan, Concert with Ray Chew Band, Maysa & Guest artists plus a special Harlem music fest tribute to B.B. King and Ben E. King featuring Lloyd Price, Chuck Jackson and bandleader Paul Shaffer, King Solomon Hicks and Keith “The Captain” Gamble

WHAT:               HARLEM WEEK presents “A Great Day in Harlem,” the official  kick-off to the 41st Annual HARLEM WEEK Festival

WHEN:               Sunday, July 26, 2015 12:00 Noon – 8:30 PM

WHERE:             U.S. Grant National Memorial Park
West 122nd Street and Riverside Drive MAP

Sakura Park – Across from U.S. Grant National Memorial Park
Tech Pavilion: featuring Robotics, Smart Gadgets, Interactive Science Activities and more
U.S. Grant National Memorial Park

gospelforteens1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Artz, Roots and Rhythm: International Cultural Showcase

Featuring: Harlem Swing Dance Society, NJPAC Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens, Uptown Dance Academy and Africa Center’s Okay Africa DJ’s and Dancers

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

A Gospel Celebration

Featuring: inspirational music with Mama Foundation Gospel Choir, Tiger the Hope Boy and Bishop Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Crusade Choir

5:00 PM – 6:15 PM

Fashion Fusion Showcase

Spotlighting the best in urban fashions

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Harlem Music Fest Music Tribute

BB KingMusic Salute to B. B. King – featuring King Solomon Hicks and Keith “The Captain” Gamble

ben_e_king_2438304bMusic Salute to Ben E. King –featuring Lloyd Price, Paul Shaffer and Chuck Jackson with Toya

7:30 PM

Concert Under the Stars

Featuring: Ray Chew and the Harlem Music Fest All Star Band, International Recording Artist Maysa & Special guests

HARLEM WEEK began in 1974 as HARLEM DAY, a day of encouragement and fellowship in Harlem for New Yorkers. Given the huge success of the celebration, more days were added to showcase the community’s rich economic, political and cultural history.

Celebrating its 41st year in 2015, HARLEM WEEK will offer over 100 events from July 26th through August 22nd to over 2 million attendees from all over New York and the world. HARLEM WEEK celebrates the neighborhoods assets and unique flavor, promoting Harlem’s rich African, African-American, Caribbean, Hispanic and European history, culture, arts, religion, entertainment and sports.


Chuck Jackson In The House!! The 30th Anniversary Celebration of Mama I Want To Sing #2

 Chuck Jackson3


The 30th Anniversary Celebration of Mama I Want To Sing – Part 2 – Chuck Jackson

“Any Day Now” fame, Chuck Jackson was in the house!

To fans of genuine rhythm and blues music, the name Chuck Jackson needs no introduction. His soaring baritone transformed such songs as “Any Day Now” and “I Don’t Want to Cry” into international chartbusters whose soulful declarations have transcended the test of time. When I spotted Mr. Jackson at the “Mama, I Want To Sing” 30th Anniversary Gala, I couldn’t resist asking him a few questions.

H2N:                  Hello Mr. Chuck Jackson. How are you? We are happy to see you.

Chuck:               Thank you.

H2N:                  Where is your base?

Chuck:                Well, I’m all over the place. I just returned from Detroit where I performed a few shows.

Chuck Jackson

Chuck Jackson

H2N:                  Currently you are in New York. Did you see “Motown The Musical”?

Chuck:                No, not yet. I believe it opens in April. It is only in previews right now. I spoke with Smokey Robinson on the phone last night. He told me he would invite me to the show. Yes, I will see it soon.

H2N:                  The first time I saw your show was at Sweetwaters around the mid 80’s and Mike Tyson was in the audience waiting for his fiancée at the time, Robin Givens. Do you remember that show?

Chuck:                Yes, as a matter of fact, I was just thinking about that. She became a big actress after that. I did many shows at Sweetwaters. The club is gone now.

H2N:                  We are so glad that you are still around. Can we expect new music from you anytime soon?

Chuck:                 Yes! I’m working on my new album. It’s funny that this time I’m signed to the first label I was signed to. Smokey Robinson wrote a song for me for this album and I’m also working with Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller and many others.

H2N:                  Sounds great! Does that mean that you are going to give us the classic Chuck Jackson album?


Chuck:                Yeah, the record company told me to be myself. They want me to sound like me. I’m very excited!

H2N:                  We can’t wait! Will you be touring to Japan soon?

Chuck:                Yes, as a matter of a fact I think we got an offer but I don’t know exactly when. I know I have many fans in Japan and I’d love to go over there and do shows.

H2N:     Thank you.

Emily “Cissy” Houston, Valerie Simpson and Dionne Warwick Attend “Mama, I Want To Sing” 30th Anniversary Gala



The 30th Anniversary Celebration of
Mama, I Want To Sing
America’s Longest Running Black Musical
Saturday, March 23, 2013

Among many celebrity guest, Emily “Cissy” Houston, Valerie Simpson and Dionne Warwick attend “Mama, I Want To Sing” 30th Anniversary Gala Celebration at The Dempsey Theater in Harlem Saturday night.

After welcoming all the board members and the benefit committee at Red Carpet, the gala began with a very special performance that includes musical highlights from “Mama, I Want To Sing” and “Sing, Harlem Sing!, ”as well as a performance from the Gospel for Teens Choir.


Cissy Houston, Vy Higginson

The Background Story

By Vy Higginsen

I was the youngest of four children growing up on Harlem. My father was a minister and my mother was very involved in his church. My oldest sister, Doris, sang in the choir. She was eventually discovered by James Brown at The Apollo, and went on to a successful career in popular music. Kind and generous, Doris was a big influence on me. I was inspired to tell her story, and so I wrote Mama, I want To Sing with my husband, Ken Wydro.

As we wrote the story, we became aware that is wasn’t just ours. It was the combined stories of numerous African-Americans who grew up on the church, stepped out of the church choir and then made their way into the recording industry and on stage. They created a new sound that was uniquely African-American – Something at once uniquely personal and wholly universal.

Initially the script was rejected by every major producer in New York – none believed that the story was worth telling or that an audience could be found for a Gospel-based production.

With nowhere else to turn, we devoted our entire life savings to opening Mama, I Want to Sing in East Harlem at the Heckscher Theatre which had housed Joe Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival 15 years earlier. As the doors’ chain was lifted, puffs of dust and dirt greeted us in the abandoned 632-seat theater.

Standing on that dusky, silent stage, dimly lit with coated work lights; I saw the theater filled with senior citizens, church groups, school children, and hard-working black mothers and fathers who had spiritual values and loved soul-stirring music.

Mama, I wan To Sing opened March 25, 1983 with a minuscule advertising, promotional, and publicity budget. Word-of-mouth spread quickly through the black community and the theatrical and traditional musical circles. Mama, I Want To Sing positively the power, spontaneity and emotional uplift of the black church experience.

For thirty years now, Mama, I wan To Sing has been performed all over the world. It has not only entertained, but it has helped introduce gospel music to other cultures, and it has taught audiences everywhere about our community and our people.

Inspired by the show’s worldwide success, I created Mama Foundation for the Arts in 1998 as a cultural space in Harlem where both youth and adults have access to quality training and employment in the performing arts. With a mission to present, preserve, and promote the history and fundamentals of gospel, jazz, and rhythm and blues music, the Gospel for teens program began at the foundation in 2006. Open to the public at no cost, so that all interested could benefit from it, Gospel for Teens provides support to our musically gifted children by replacing the arts programs taken out of many inner city schools. In the past seven years, we have served hundreds of teens. These fine young men and women have now become Ambassadors of the Music, making sure that the music lives on for generations to come.

It is a thrill to have seen these young people evolve through the arts – I’ve witnessed them change mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

All of us are part of a community that is rich and full of history, conversation, food, music, and art and culture. To explore all that; to present that on stage – whether through our musicals, performances by the Gospel for Teens Choir, or other events – is a privilege.

During the initial run of Mama, I Want To Sing, Doris Troy played the role of our mother; and my brother, Randy, played the role of our father. Now, my daughter, Knoelle, is playing the role of her Auntie. Doris passed away nine years ago, but her life lives on stage to this very day. For that, I am jumbled, and so grateful.

Thank you for your support.


Vy Higginsen