Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson

was born on August 11, 1954 in Staffordshire, England, but he grew up in Portsmouth, England. He started by learning to play the violin and then switched to the piano. From the time he was 16 he was playing in bars. He won a scholarship to study musical composition at London’s Royal Academy of Music. He didn’t want to be a serious composer so he moved on to pop and rock music. Joe won five Grammy Nominations between 1979 until 2001. He is best known for his 1979 hit song, Is She really Going Out With Him (1979). He is also well known for his songs, Steppin’ Out (1982), and You Can’t get What You Want Till You Know What You Want. (1984). Joe was a part of the movement that brought a New Wave sound to the United States, along with Graham Parker and Elvis Costello, in the late 1970's.

Joe’s first band was Edward bear which included Larry Evoy as lead singer. After two successful singles the band split up and Joe went on his own to record his own demos. In 1978 A&M Records heard his tape and he signed with them. His album, Look Sharp, was recorded and released in 1979. It was followed by I’m the Man, and Beat Crazy, in 1980. The Joe Jackson band was successful and had many tours. Later the band broke up and Joe recorded an album of old style swing and blues tunes, Jumpin’ Jive, which featured songs by Cab Calloway, Lester Young, Glen Miller, and Louis Jordan.

In 1982 Joe hit it big when he released the album, Night and Day. This album was the only one to ever hit the Top 10 and it reached number 4 on the charts. Joe continued releasing albums and in 2003 he reunited with the original band. They did a promotional cd along with the release of the band playing live , some of Jackson’s best and most widely admired material.

Joe is also an author and wrote, A Cure For Gravity, which was published in 1999. The book traces Joe’s early musical life from his childhood until he reached the age of twenty four. His life as a rock star following that was as he put it, “Hardly worth writing about”.

In 2002, Joe’s song, Steppin’ Out, was used in the popular video game, Grand theft Auto: Vice City. In 2003 he reunited with the original group again and they did an album called, Volume 4. The group also did a lengthy tour . Then in 2005 Joe did a tour of 45 U. S. States and European cities along with Tod Rundgren and the string quartet, Ethel.