Tony Jackson (bass player)

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Anthony Paul Jackson (16 July 1940[ citation needed ] 18 August 2003) was an English bass guitar player and singer who was a member of the Searchers.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

The Searchers (band) English band

The Searchers were an English Merseybeat group who emerged in the 1960s along with the Beatles, the Hollies, the Fourmost, the Merseybeats, the Swinging Blue Jeans, and Gerry and the Pacemakers.




Jackson was born in Dingle, Liverpool, Lancashire. After leaving school he went to Walton Technical College to train as an electrician. Jackson was inspired by the skiffle sound of Lonnie Donegan, and then by Buddy Holly and other U.S. rock and rollers. He founded the skiffle group the Martinis.

Dingle, Liverpool District of Liverpool

Dingle is an inner city area of Liverpool, Merseyside, England. It is located to the south of the city, bordered by the adjoining districts of Toxteth and Aigburth. At the 2001 Census, the population was recorded at 13,246.

Liverpool City and metropolitan borough in England

Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in North West England, with an estimated population of 491,500. Its metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in the UK, with a population of 2.24 million in 2011. The local authority is Liverpool City Council, the most populous local government district in the metropolitan county of Merseyside and the largest in the Liverpool City Region.

Lancashire County of England

Lancashire is a ceremonial county in North West England. The administrative centre is Preston. The county has a population of 1,449,300 and an area of 1,189 square miles (3,080 km2). People from Lancashire are known as Lancastrians.

Nicknamed Black Jake, he joined the guitar duo the Searchers, which had been formed by John McNally and Mike Pender in 1959. The band soon expanded further to a quartet with the addition of the drummer Chris Curtis. Jackson built and learned to play a customised bass guitar. Learning his new job on the four-stringed instrument proved too difficult to permit him to continue singing lead so he made way for a new singer, Johnny Sandon, in 1960. They played in Liverpool's nightclubs and the beer bars of Hamburg, Germany. Brian Epstein considered signing them but he lost interest after seeing a drunken Jackson fall off the stage at the Cavern Club. Sandon moved on in February 1962 and the band were signed by Pye Records in mid-1963 when the Beatles' success created demand for Liverpudlian acts.

John McNally (musician) English musician

John McNally is an English guitarist and vocalist. He was one of the original founders of The Searchers in 1957, and remained with the band over 60 years until its last concert on 31 March 2019.

Mike Pender is an original founding member of Merseybeat group the Searchers. He is best known as the lead vocalist on many hit singles by the Searchers, including the song "Needles and Pins" and "What Have They Done To The Rain?".

Chris Curtis British musician

Chris Curtis was an English drummer and singer with the 1960s beat band The Searchers. He originated the concept behind Deep Purple and formed the band in its original incarnation of 'Roundabout'.

Jackson was lead singer and played bass on the band's first two United Kingdom hits, "Sweets for My Sweet" and "Sugar and Spice", but was not the vocalist on the band's biggest hit "Needles and Pins". He was featured on both "Don't Throw Your Love Away" and "Love Potion No. 9".

Sweets for My Sweet 1961 single by The Drifters

"Sweets for My Sweet" is a song written by the songwriting team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, originally recorded by The Drifters.

"Needles and Pins" is a rock song credited to American writers Jack Nitzsche and Sonny Bono. Jackie DeShannon recorded it in 1963 and other versions followed, including by the Searchers, Smokie, the Ramones, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Stevie Nicks.

"Don't Throw Your Love Away" is a song written by Billy Jackson and Jimmy Wisner that was originally released in 1963 by The Orlons. It was the B-side to "Bon-Doo-Wah", which peaked at No. 55 in the US charts.

In 1964 the band toured the United States, including an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show . Jackson was unhappy with the band's move away from rock and roll to a softer, more melodic sound and felt that he was not getting appropriate attention. He left the group in July 1964 in some acrimony and immediately moved to London and put together a new band, the Vibrations, which had an organ-based sound instead of the Searchers' guitar based one.

<i>The Ed Sullivan Show</i> American television series

The Ed Sullivan Show was an American television variety show that ran on CBS from June 20, 1948, to June 6, 1971, and was hosted by New York entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan. It was replaced in September 1971 by the CBS Sunday Night Movie.

After leaving the Searchers Jackson spent £200 (equivalent to £4,000in 2018 [1] ) on cosmetic surgery on his nose. He said at the time that he had had a lifelong complex about his nose to the extent that he could not mix socially. The surgery had followed psychiatric treatment. That same year he revealed that his 1960 marriage to Margaret Parry had been effectively over for two years.

Plastic surgery is a surgical specialty involving the restoration, reconstruction, or alteration of the human body. It can be divided into two main categories: reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery. Reconstructive surgery includes craniofacial surgery, hand surgery, microsurgery, and the treatment of burns. While reconstructive surgery aims to reconstruct a part of the body or improve its functioning, cosmetic surgery aims at improving the appearance of it. Both of these techniques are used throughout the world.

The Vibrations toured the UK with the Hollies, Marianne Faithfull and other acts. They released four singles on the Pye Records label but only the first had any success. In 1965 they changed their name to the Tony Jackson Group but the fourth single also failed and Pye dropped them. The band then signed to CBS without improvement and they found that there were few bookings in the UK so they toured southern Europe until even that withered. Disillusioned and out of options, Jackson left the music business.

Jackson took a variety of jobs including Spanish night club manager, entertainments representative, furniture salesman, disc jockey and golf club manager. In the 1980s he tried to establish a Searchers revival band, but was unable to compete effectively with the other two that already existed.

In 1991, Tony Jackson and the Vibrations reformed and an album of Jackson's material after the Searchers was released. The resuscitation of his career was short-lived, however, although he did appear four times with Mike Pender's Searchers between 1992 and 1995. That ended in 1996 when he was convicted of threatening a woman with an air pistol after an argument over a phone booth, and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.

The arthritis in his hands became so bad that he had to abandon even recreational guitar playing. In 2002 he said, "The spirit's willing, but the body's knackered."


Towards the end of his life he suffered from diabetes, heart disease and cirrhosis of the liver from a lifetime of heavy alcohol consumption. Jackson died on 18 August 2003 in a Nottingham hospital, he was 63.

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  1. UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 27 January 2019.