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Any Day Now - Chuck Jackson

Numbers. It's all down to numbers. Or is it?

Chuck Jackson was a journeyman soul singer who served an apprenticeship as a member of the doo-wop outfit the Del Vikings from 1957 to 59, before leaving to go solo. Between 1961 and 1968 he had no less than 23 chart entries on the US Hot 100, but the highest charting of these, "Any Day Now", only reached number 23. Jackson died last February 16th at the age of 85, eight days after Burt Bacharach, who wrote "Any Day Now" in collaboration with one Bill Hillyard.

Jackson was one of those wonderfully powerful soul singers that defined sixties America. When Bacharach's death was announced, it was significant that the three tracks mostly played on radio and tv as examples of his songwriting prowess were made famous by the soul singers Aretha Franklyn ("I Say a Little Prayer") and Dionne Warwick ("Walk On By" and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?") proving that these are the hits that have stood the test of time over other higher charting numbers. (See last Uncle Stylus post).

Chuck Jackson's greatest hit should be up there with them, not only for his agonised but resigned vocal, but for the exquisite organ refrain which suggests that life will go on, nonetheless.

The theme of many of Jackson's hits is the impending loss of his lover, in amorous terms the story of the man who is always on the verge of great happiness, only to have fate snatch it away. Bill Hillyard, the Tin Pan Alley veteran who wrote the lyrics for "Any Day Now", is most famous for writing the words to the 1963 US number one "Our Day Will Come" by Ruby and the Romantics. Sadly, despite a series of wonderful mid sixties singles on the Wand record label, Chuck Jackson's day never did.

"Any day now

when the clock strikes go

you'll call it off

and then my tears will flow,

then the blue shadows will fall all over town,

any day now

love will let me down

'cause you won't be around...."


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