Well not exactly, but the legends of Jackie Wilsoon and Dean Martin certainly do live on through the inspiratoinal performances of their offspring, who just happened to perform on the same stage, only hours apart Nov 26, 2011.
WHERE’S HE BEEN HIDING!
BOBBY WILSON HAS IT!
Bobby Wilson, who also goes by Bobby Brooks and Bobby Brooks Hamilton, as on the attached video, is the living embodiment of his Dad. He looks like him, sings like him and has THE PERSONALITY! He even dresses right out of 1957, including the pompadour; his earling is the only anachronistic piece in the entire act, which we were fortunate to see 11/26 in a matinee performance at the Raazz Room in San Francisco along with a fine backing group, Top Shelf. The small room was packed with an older crowd; it could have easily been 1959 at the Copa or the Sands, albeit a smaller room.
It was only during the performance we noted that Dean Martin’s daughter, Dina, was also appearing at the Raazz for the evening show, so, why not make it a full night of nostalgia!
I had met another of Jackie Wilson’s sons – yes, the man WAS prolific – some 20 years ago, performing with a rock band with sans the Jackie Wilson tribute at an Oakland restaurant. Don’t know how many other sons are out there but Bobby does a wonderful job of keeping the legend alive, not only singing great , like his Dad, but speaking in glowing terms of his Dad as he sprinkled interesting bits of history during the show. For better or worse, Bobby is also the ladies man, as was Jackie, posing incessantly during the show while singing to ladies in the audience. Only he and his Dad could get away with the shtick…. Anyhow, kudos to Bobby for staying true to the music and the times, as his website notes…
The year is 1959. It’s a hot night in New York City’s Harlem at the Apollo Theater. An emcee calls out for “Mr. Excitement” and out comes the one and only Jackie Wilson. He slides out on the stage and up to the MIC stand, does a spin and jumps right into his latest hit “Lonely Teardrops”. Only it’s your next function and it’s here and now. Your clients will believe they are in the Apollo Theater watching Jackie Wilson when they are really watching Bobby Brooks Wilson. He will excite them, thrill them and lift your next function to the next level, “Higher and Higher”. Some of the hits will include Reet Petite, Dogging Around, To Be Loved, A Woman, A Lover, A Friend, and Baby Workout. Bobby also highlights Jackie Wilson’s musical friends such as Sam Cook, Elvis and Al Jolson. He will take you on a musical flight through the likeness, mannerisms and vocal excitement of Jackie Wilson. So come spend an evening with “The King of Soul”, and bring back the memory of the “The Great Jackie Wilson”. for more details, email JackieWilsonTribute@gmail.com
Perhaps in a new world of manufactured stars people like
Bobby Brooks Wilson and Dina Martin don’t get the play they deserve. However, Of note is the fact that Bruno Mars, one of the better modern performers, chose Bobby to open his live shows of late. In the meantime, check out his albums, website and You Tube videos and then his Dad’s, too, and you’re in for a treat all over again! Jackie Wilson Lives!
Kudos also to a great backing band and background singers via Top Shelf of the Bay Area! Where they got such talented local(?) performers is amazing.
Wilson, who lives in Las Vegas, has apparently been doing tributes where he can , performing not only as his Dad but as Stevie Wonder, Little Richard and others. In a different era, we’d probably see him as a regular on the late night TV circuit and radio, but for many younger folks he’s probably he’s JUST an ‘oldie’ but, of course, for us, that’s a GOODIE! As it stands, Wilson is a bit of mystery. Other than a single, cover of his Dad’s biggest hit, Higher and Higher, we don’t see any CDs from him. How long he’s performed we don’t know, nor his age- call him ageless, timeless. It doesn’t matter. A little mystery is good. Just Keep doing what you’re doing, Bobby pompadour and all! We’ll be looking for you more and more to go HIGHER and HIGHER!
Deana Martin (like Dean with an ‘a’) grew up during the Golden Years, often accompanying her Dad to shows and meeting up with famous friends near their Beverly Hills home – friends like Lucile Ball, Rosemary Clooney, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra- all in the same neighborhood. Deana has come out in a big way in recent years, paying tribute to her Dad, not only in song but she ‘s written a memoir about growing up with her famous Dad, the Rat Pack and sordid friends. She’s not afraid to offer the good and the bad. In her evening show, she including many stories about Dean and friends, while singing both songs he made famous as well as songs of her own, many celebrating the Christmas season. While Deana has a pleasant voice, one can never mistake it for the classic Martin voice, yet her endearing personality and banter makes up for what we miss in the real thing. At one point, perhaps the highlight of the show, she ‘duets’ with Dad thru the magic of tape and video. At another point she recreates an early recording session she was at when Dean recorded the classic ‘Memories Are Made of This,’ drawing on three members of the audience as back up vocalists. It worked! A muscial, nostalgic day was a long time coming for this writer, fully enjoyed – and to think these tickets were going for less than $20 for either show!
Memories Are Made of This: Dean Martin Through His Daughter’s Eyes
NOW let’s see the Original Mr Wilson do his thing.. Watch him
do the splits and bounce back up! No other entertainer like him!