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Jr. Walker & The All Stars

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Biography

Walker was either born Autry DeWalt II or re-christened such following an earlier name, Oscar G. Mixon, on June 14, 1931. Although he mastered the crawl and the toddle, “Junior Walker” got that moniker not from frequent roaming but from his father, Roosevelt Walker.
Still, after his family moved from Blytheville, Arkansas to South Bend, Indiana, people started noticing his special rhythms. In his new home, he could pursue his lifelong specialty: music. With his trusty tenor saxophone, Junior Walker blew through high school and nearby R&B and jazz clubs with the Jumping Jacks.

Yet he wasn’t so focused on a straight-ahead path that he couldn’t stop and appreciate others’ talents, including those of organist Fred Patton and, later, blues guitarist Willie Woods.

After the rotating door of sidemen got its first spin, Junior Walker took the lead and served as the axis of what would become his signature band.

Having gigged in upper Indiana and lower Michigan, Walker settled down in the latter state. Late-1950s Battle Creek was the birthplace of what would officially be known as Jr. Walker and the All Stars: Woods, organist Vic Thomas, and Tony Washington on drums.

Here comes the inevitable Hitsville connection! Singer Johnny Bristol watched Jr. Walker and the All Stars during an El Grotto club performance. After wiping the sizzling grease off his brow, he told pal Harvey Fuqua about the band.

In 1961, Harvey the label hired the squealing saxophonist and his rip-roaring rhythm section. Records like “Cleo’s Mood” established their promise before Motown acquired Harvey’s roster and, in 1964, the band, which still featured Woods, Thomas, and Washington with Walker.

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  • moonshado

    What idiot in LAST FM as suddenly decided to create 2 separate entries for Junior Walker & the All-Stars and Junior Walker & the All Stars. They use to be a single entry. Prats.

    27 Apr 2013 Reply
  • Tr1xx

    "Take Me Girl, I'm Ready" does it for me . . . should deffo be in their top ten plays, (though "Walk In The Night" is beautiful)

    15 Jan 2012 Reply
  • Tr1xx

    "Take Me Girl, I'm Ready" does it for me . . . should deffo be in their top ten plays

    15 Jan 2012 Reply
  • T_Higginz

    "I said,Shotgun shoot em for he runs now Do the jerk baby Do the jerk now Hey!"

    25 Nov 2011 Reply
  • Druid66

    Their name is only slightly erroneous, because it leaves Junior out of the "All Stars" ... when he was surely a star, too! These guys could really get it done.

    27 Sep 2011 Reply
  • LeTHaL_MeTaLMaN

    cleo's mood is the sexiest song ever

    9 Aug 2011 Reply
  • Karsten_CG

    Whow, love that cool sax! Own only 3 LPs, but what a sound. RIP man.

    21 Aug 2010 Reply
  • floydalbert

    Great group I like the way he plays the sax in his songs

    18 Aug 2010 Reply
  • slickricky55

    coolio........

    19 Nov 2009 Reply
  • Katisdope

    i said shotguuunn~

    26 Oct 2009 Reply
  • Mathi00

    chłopaki wymiatają

    25 Jul 2009 Reply
  • surfinsapo

    You da man JR...

    6 Jun 2009 Reply
  • AngelasUniverse

    Summertime In California, I miss the beaches

    30 Apr 2009 Reply
  • teraevlyn

    This is song is so summertime in Chicago and there is nothing Gay about it. That was just lame

    17 Mar 2009 Reply
  • tea5girl

    OOH Sorry this version is so.............not what i have in my collection,il send ye my version Noddy

    8 Mar 2009 Reply
  • eveldo

    Haha, I wouldn't say they're gay at all. But, to each his own. I have tons of happy memories of growing up, listening to their records.

    31 Oct 2008 Reply
  • blocked-pitbull

    beep! beep! blew that sax! never got sound but, priviliged.

    13 Oct 2008 Reply
  • the_flava

    gay

    5 Sep 2008 Reply
  • All 22 shouts

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