33 years ago today - RIP Al Jackson Jr.


Well-Known Member
Aug 5, 2005
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A VERY sad day. :cry: Rest in Peace Al. Your groove will never be forgotten.

From Wikipedia:

On September 30, 1975, Al Jackson was scheduled to fly to Detroit, Michigan, to produce a Major Lance session when he heard the DJ on the radio reminding everyone of the Joe Frazier-Muhammad Ali fight that night. Jackson called Detroit and said he was going to watch "The Thrilla in Manila" with his girlfriend on the big screen at the Mid-South Coliseum. (Though still married, Jackson was estranged from his wife Barbara. In July of 1975 his wife had shot him in the chest -- he decided not to press charges, but was in the process of a divorce and was planning to move to Atlanta, Georgia, to begin working with Stax singer/songwriter William Bell.)

After the Ali-Frazier fight, Jackson returned home and found intruders in his house. He was reportedly told to get down on his knees and then shot fatally five times in the back. Around 3:00 a.m. on October 1st, Barbara Jackson ran out in the street, yelling for help. She told police that burglars had tied her up, and then shot her husband when he returned home. Mysteriously, police found nothing in the house out of place and Al Jackson's wallet and jewelry were still on him. The man police believed to have pulled the trigger – the then-boyfriend of R&B singer Denise LaSalle – had reportedly known someone in Memphis and after robbing a bank in Florida, told them to meet him over at Al Jackson's house. Indictments against Barbara Jackson, Denise LaSalle and her boyfriend were supposed to be served, but never were. Tracked through Florida to Memphis to Seattle, Washington, the boyfriend was killed by a police officer on July 15, 1976 after a gun battle.

In a newspaper interview given November 21, 1975, Memphis Police Director E. Winslow 'Buddy' Chapman said the police knew what happened, "But, what we know and what we can prove in court are two different things. We feel there are some individuals who are probably in a position to know first-hand or second-hand what happened. They were either there or came on the scene." Chapman appealed, "If we can get the black community to convince these certain people to come forward, the Al Jackson case could be solved." To this day, Memphis police won't talk about the case, claiming it's still an open investigation.

When Al Jackson was murdered, the heart of the Stax family was lost, and the once-mighty label officially closed its doors less than a year later.


DFO Star
Platinum Supporting Member
Aug 6, 2008
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I heard Atlantic records werent too happy about the lawsuit certain musicians at Stax were launching about being frozen out of the benefits and royalties due them as a result of the Wexler Ertegun takeover. Pretty ugly rumor,never been completely disproven. Tragic loss to us all.Al Jackson owns so much of what we play....


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Dec 9, 2006
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shiloh, nj
In my mind this man was the most perfect drummer God ever created. His death was tragic and untimely.