Chuck Jackson, a vocalist of the doo-wop group Del-Vikings and the singer in Burt Bacharach and Bob Hilliard’s “Any Day Now,” died on Feb. 16 in Atlanta. He was 85.
News of his passing was confirmed in a Facebook post by Ady Croasdell of Ace Records’ Kent Records division, a UK label that had been reissuing his recordings. No cause of death was given.
“There are confirmed reports that one of the very greatest soul singers of all time, Chuck Jackson, died on February 16th,” Croasdell wrote. “His 60s and 70s recordings are hugely important works, revered as much now as on release…His passing will be deeply felt around the world.”
She listed several of those recordings including “I Keep Forgettin’,” “Hand It Over,” “What’s With This Loneliness,” and “Any Day Now,” which brought him his first taste of widespread notoriety. The track became his signature tune, with names like Elvis Presley and James Brown releasing covers of the track. “Any Day Now” also earned Jackson a deal with Motown Records in 1960.
Jackson went on to record a number of Bacharach’s songs over the decades. The acclaimed songwriter, composer, producer and arranger died of natural causes just a few weeks ago at age 94.
Jackson was born in South Carolina in 1937 and grew up in Pittsburgh where he started his musical career singing in church. He joined the Del-Vikings in 1957, though the group disbanded after three years together. Jackson was later discovered by Luther Dixon while opening for Jackie Wilson at the Apollo Theater in New York City which led to him singing with Scepter Records imprint Wand Records, where Jackson co-wrote the ’60s single, “I Don’t Want to Cry,” with Dixon.
Dionne Warwick, who was a collaborator of Jackson’s and her Scepter Records label mate, offered a statement about his death on Feb. 20.
“Another heartache has come my way. Chuck Jackson has made his transition,” she wrote. “I’ll truly miss his daily calls checking on me and his wonderful voice. Rest in heavenly peace my dear friend.”
In 2015, Jackson was inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame and the North Carolina Music Hall Of Fame.