Van Morrison wrote this song and released the original version on his 1972 album Saint Dominic's Preview. It's a tribute to Jackie Wilson, a soul singer from Detroit famous for hit songs like "Lonely Teardrops" and "Reet Petite." Wilson died in 1984 at age 49.
In what seems to have been a practical joke on the part of the props men, on the famous British Pop show Top of the Pops in 1982, the band were performing this in front of a huge picture of portly Scottish (now sadly departed) darts player Jocky Wilson.
Too-Rye-Ay was the band's second album, and at first, lead singer Kevin Rowland refused to do interviews to promote it as the music press had left him jaded. When the first four singles from the album underperformed, he once again granted interviews, and the fifth single, "Come On Eileen," became the #1 UK hit of 1982.
"Jackie Wilson Said" was the next single issued, which left Rowland to comment on the song and his Soul music influences. "I'm really pissed off with all these Van Morrison comparisons," he told The Face. "I am part Irish but it isn't real Celtic music and it's definitely not folk... we still use a brass section you know! We've just mixed a lot of different influences, including jazz and blues, to create an original sound. It was a very gradual process,I didn't suddenly start listening to Irish records like I did the soul ones before... and there's nothing Irish about our dungarees."
Steve from Somerset, United KingdomIt is a total myth that the picture of Jocky Wilson the darts player used on Top of the pops was a mistake, it was a joke by the totp production team. How could it be a mistake ? do you seriously believe (A), a couple of days before when planning the show, the production team read the song title as Jocky instead of Jackie (B), no-one had heard of the song before ( by Van Morrison ), (C), None of the members of Dexy`s noticed the picture in rehearsals or the performance ! I remember the next day on the radio it was talked about as the joke it was and it was only after a few years someone started the " mistake " lie, it makes for a good story but thats all it is .
Ross from Leicester, United KingdomBarry - Some stats for you - Dexys had 9 UK Top 40 hits 1980-86 of which 4 were top 10 and 2 were no 1 (Geno was no 1 in 1980). Hardly one hit wonders even though their chart success was erratic! In the US they were one hit wonders.
Scott from Boston, MaWhy is this not listed as a Van Morrison song? His original is so much better.
Colin from Bradford, EnglandBarry - what rubbish! Are you really saying that the only songs worth listening to are those that make the top 40? If so, boy are you missing out on a shedload of fantastic music. Personally I often think the other way round - if a song is very popular, it probably isn't actually that good, in other words too easy on the ear. Obviously not true in all cases, but it's certainly not true to say that only songs that hit the chart are good songs.
Shobu from Trenton, NjThe Top of the Pops "Jocky Wilson" picture was actually a genuine mistake on the part of the prop team, who incorrectly assumed the song referred to the dart player when they heard the title.
Brian from Meriden, CtVan's version appropriately captured some of the raw emotion and soul of Jackie's best song "Higher and Higher." Van's tribute to Jackie was not all that unfittingly found on his spiritual and reflective St. Dominic's Preview.
Brian from Meriden, CtA note to Barry and many others: there are a lot fewer one-hit wonders than believed to be. Two songs on any chart up to #200 and no more one-hit wonder. (Humor understood though - the criterion of which you spoke would produce a few more, huh.)
Barry from New York, NcI had NO idea that Dexy and the Runners actually had another song!! Not only does the term "one hit wonder" mean they only had one song in the top 40 but it also means they had only one song worth listening to.
Craig from Madison, WiDexy's perform this on the English cult sitcom "The Young Ones." I believe the episode is "BOMB." The band performs in the bathroom of the heroes' dilapidated flat. Like most of the musical guests on the show their presence is barely explained or acknowledged. If you have not seen this show, it's perfect for when you have run out of Monty Python episodes to watch.