The Osmonds recorded Jackson’s “One Bad Apple” in 1970, taking it to No. 1. Jackson and Thomas Jones III wrote “Old Time Rock and Roll,” which Bob Seger recorded in 1978. Stephenson said “Old Time Rock and Roll” is truly Jackson’s song, and he has the tapes to prove it, despite Seger’s claims that he altered it.
“Bob had pretty much finished his recording at Muscle Shoals and he asked them if they had any other songs he could listen to for the future,” Stephenson said.
Besides Seger, the Osmonds and Ike and Tina Turner, Jackson’s songs were also recorded by James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Clarence Carter. Later, he wrote “Down Home Blues” for Z.Z. Hill, a song which was a keystone for Malaco. The Mississippi label is a storehouse of soul, rhythm and blues and gospel music.
“He had a way of seeing things about life and saying them in a way that a lot of other people could relate to,” Couch said.
Jackson’s own vocal performances were mainly scattered over singles, although some have been collected into albums, including a 2011 reissue of his FAME recordings, “Don’t Count Me Out,” which won critical acclaim. That and other compilations were aimed at part at fans in the United Kingdom, where Stephenson said Jackson had a strong following.
Funeral arrangements were still being made.