Soul singer Jackie Day was born Jacquelene Baldain in Eudora, Arkansas, on February 8, 1938, and grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana. In the early 1950s she and her family moved to San Francisco in search of a better life. In 1960, after she married R&B saxophone great Big Jay McNeely, Jackie moved into the South Los Angeles house where she remained for the rest of her life.
Thanks to producer-arranger Maxwell Davis, Jackie recorded her debut single in 1965 for Johnnie Cochran Sr.'s one-off Phelectron label and then moved on to Modern Records, where she cut three singles for the label's new 1000 soul series in 1966 and '67. In 1968 she recorded a session for Specialty in Hollywood, and two years later traveled with Davis to Shreveport to record and write a batch of songs for Paula Records. Their collaboration ended with Maxwell Davis's sudden death in September 1970. Jackie never recorded again.
Though none of her singles were big sellers, a couple of them later became popular with Great Britainís Northern Soul collectors, who remembered her first record, ďBefore Itís Too Late,Ē from its United Kingdom release on Sue Records. During a 2004 record auction, Jackieís super-rare Phelectron 45 sold for $4,000. At the time, promoters wanted to fly her to the U.K. for a series of concerts, but she turned them down, mainly, it turned out, because she was beginning to battle the emphysema that would eventually take her life.
Though Jackie and Big Jay divorced in the late 1970s, they always remained close. Jackie went into a coma in mid-2006 and died at age 68 on January 4, 2007, in a Los Angeles convalescent home. She is interred in a mausoleum at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood.
|Phelectron 382||Naughty Boy / I Want Your Love||1965|
|Modern 1028||Before Itís Too Late / Without a Love||1966|
|Sue 4040 (U.K)||Before Itís Too Late / Without a Love||1966|
|Modern 1032||Oh! What Heartaches / If Iíd Lose You||1966|
|Modern 1037||Long As I Got My Baby / What Kind of Man Are You||1967|
|Specialty 693||Whatís the Cost / Free at Last||1968|
|Paula 338||Guilty / I Canít Wait||1970|
|Ace Records will be releasing Jackie Day's complete 12-song output in late
2011, complete with six unreleased songs and several alternate takes.
Ace Recordscompilation albums and reissues
This 1966 Australian EP, Fabulous Jackie Day, featuring four of her
Modern Records songs, was released on W&G Records WG-E 274.
Jackie's Phelectron single was reissued
in Great Britain on Soul Spin Records.
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