Artist Name
Junior Walker

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Data Complete
30%

Members
1 Male

Origin
Blythesville, Arkansas, US

Genre
R&B

Style
---

Mood
---

Born

1931

Active
1931 to 1995

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Alternate Name
Junior Walker & The All Stars

Most Loved Tracks
4 x Junior Walker - Shotgun
3 x Junior Walker - Cleo's Mood
3 x Junior Walker - Shake and Fingerpop
3 x Junior Walker - What Does It Take
3 x Junior Walker - How Sweet It Is


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Artist Biography
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Junior Walker (born Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr., June 14, 1931 - November 23, 1995) Walker was born in Blytheville, Arkansas and grew up in South Bend, Indiana. His unmistakable saxophone style was the anchor for Jr. Walker & The All Stars rambunctious sound. The other original members of the group were drummer James Graves, guitarist Willie Woods, and keyboardist Vic Thomas. His career started when he developed his own band at the age of 14, in the mid-'50s as the 'Jumping Jacks'. His longtime friend Billy Nix (drummer) started his own group the 'Rhythm Rockers.' Periodically Nix would sit in on Jumping Jack's shows, and Walker would sit in on the Rhythm Rockers shows. Nix obtained a permanent gig at a local TV station in South Bend, Indiana, and asked Walker to join him and his keyboard player (Fred Patton) permanently. Shortly after, Nix would asked Willie Woods a local singer to perform with the group; shortly after Woods would learn how to play guitar also. When Nix got drafted into the army, Walker convinced the band to move from South Bend, Indiana to Battle Creek, Michigan. While performing in Benton Harbor Michigan, Walker found a drummer by the name of Tony Washington, to replace Nix. Eventually, Fred Patton (piano player) left the group, and Victor Thomas stepped in. The original name the "Rhythm Rockers" was changed to the "All Stars". The group was spotted by Johnny Bristol. He recommended them to Harvey Fuqua, in 1961, who had his own recording labels. Once the group started recording on the Harvey label, their name was changed to Junior Walker & the All Stars. When Fuqua's labels were taken over by Motown Berry Gordy, Jr. Walker & The All Stars became members of the Motown Records family, recording for Motown's Soul imprint. The members of the band changed after the acquisition of the Harvey label. The drummer, Tony Washington quit the group, and James Graves followed the group into the Motown family. Their first and signature hit was "Shotgun", written by Junior Walker and produced by Berry Gordy. "Shotgun" reached #4 on the Pop chart and #1 on the R&B chart in 1965, and was followed by many other hits, such as "(I'm A) Road Runner", "Shake and Fingerpop" and covers of the Motown classics "Come See About Me" and "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)". In 1969 the group had another hit enter the top 5, "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)?". A Motown quality control meeting rejected this song for single release but radio DJs made the track overwhelmingly popular, forcing Motown to release it as a single, whereupon it reached #4 on the Pop chart and #1 on the R&B chart. From that time on Walker sang more on the records than earlier in their career. In 1979, Junior Walker went solo and was signed to Norman Whitfield's Whitfield Records label. He wasn't as successful as he had been with the All Stars in his Motown period. Junior Walker also played the sax on the group Foreigner's "Urgent" in 1981. The solo was actually cobbled together from tapes that he had made with the band. He later recorded his own version of the Foreigner song. In 1983, Walker was re-signed with Motown. He died on November 23, 1995 in Battle Creek, Michigan of cancer. Drummer James Graves died in 1967 in a car accident, and guitarist Willie Woods in 1997 at age 60. Jr. Walker's All Star Band is currently touring around the world with with original members Tony Washington and Acklee King and Detroit's own Marty Saxman Montgomery singing and blowing the saxophone so well if you closed your eyes you would think Junior himself was in the room.


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Last Edit by Damorsoft
10th Oct 2021

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