Rock me tonight! Announced Freddie Jackson when he arrived in 1985. So, for old times sake…
Frederick Jackson was born in Harlem, New York in 1956 and trained as a gospel singer as a boy. He met Paul Laurence (b.1958) there and the two became lifelong friends. Laurence would pursue a career as a songwriter and producer and would come in handy when Freddie launched his own music career. He joined the band Mystic Merlin in 1980 and recorded three albums with the group before disbanding in 1982. Freddie worked as a backing singer for Melba Moore (“This Is It“) and it was here he was ‘discovered’ and signed as a solo artist by Capitol Records in 1984. He released his debut single, “Rock Me Tonight (For Old Times Sake)”, early in 1985. The song would top the US R&B chart and reach No.18 on the singles chart.
“Rock Me Tonight” kick started a vibrant 80’s career for Freddie as his debut album of the same name went top ten in America and went on to sell over a million copies there. Eben more successful was the follow up single, “You Are My Lady”, which also topped the R&B chart and went to No.12 on the singles chart. Ever confident, Freddie scored a third chart hit with “He’ll Never Love You (Like I Do)” before thew year was out, while 1986 would bring international success with “Rock Me Tonight” making the top twenty in the UK. Freddie and Paul were relentless at this early state and within twelve months of “Rock Me Tonight”, he was back with a new album, “Just Like The First Time”. The album would lead off in 1986 with a duet with his old mate, Melba Moore, “A Little Bit More”, winning a third chart topper on the R&B chart.
A fourth and fifth number one came with “Tasty Love” and “Have You Ever Loved Somebody?”, which also reached No.33 in the UK in early 1987, while “Just Like The First Time” also went Platinum in America, giving Freddie two million sellers in a row. “Just Like The First Time” would score a fourth number one with “Jam Tonight” while “I Don’t Want To Lose Your Love” made No.2 in 1987. A total of six tracks were lifted from the album, four of which topped the R&B chart and it didn’t stop there as 1988 would produce album number three, “Don’t Let Love Slip Away”, and two more chart toppers, “Nice’N’Slow” and “Hey Lover”, although commercial success was starting not to hit the same highs as earlier on. “Don’t Let Love Slip Away” did peak at No.24 in the UK, Freddie’s highest there and still topped the US R&B chart, but sales could only manage a Gold certificate there of 500,000 copies.
Freddie narrowly missed another UK top 40 hit in 1989 when he duetted with Natalie Cole on “I Do”. Natalie had just scored her biggest chart hit there with “Miss You Like Crazy”. He sandwiched “I Do” in between recording his fourth studio album, “Do Me Again”, which was released in 1990 and brought two more R&B number one hits with “Move Me Down” and the title track of the album. The album went Gold, but this was the last time Freddie would be in the disc winning world. Freddie continued to release albums throughout the 1990’s as well as singles and made a return to the UK top 40 in 1992 with a cover of Billy Paul’s “Me And Mrs. Jones”. He duetted with Shanice (“I Love Your Smile”) in 1994 for the song “Was It Something?”. Freddie left Capitol as the end of 1993, after nine years of success with his first greatest hits album, moving to RCA the following year to release the album, “Here It Is”. Relentless as ever, Freddie recorded the holiday album, “At Christmas”.
1995 saw a new album, “Private Party”, which featured the erotically titled “Rub Up Against You” as the lead single! Freddie still records and has done so on a regular basis into the 21st century, with albums and singles, many of them charting on the US R&B chart, his most successful of the new century being “Until The End Of Time” in 2006. He released “Why?” in 2020 and now finds popularity and success on stage performing at 80’s festivals as well as supporting the likes of Peabo Bryson and his old mate, Melba Moore on stage. See if you can catch the old smoothie soon and be seduced by his self-evident confidence as he does it nice’n’slow!
Stay in touch with Freddie Jackson