jr. walker & the all stars

Happy Birthday Autry DeWalt Mixon Jr., better known by the stage name         Junior Walker! (June 14, 1931 – November 23, 1995)

His group, Jr. Walker & the All Stars, were signed to Motown’s Soul label in the 1960s, and became one of the company’s signature acts. (Wikipedia)

View of Junior Walker, playing the saxophone. Printed on front: “Junior Walker. Entertainment Plus, ‘where quality is our business,’ P.O. Box 8217, Rochester, MI 48063, (313) 651-1221.” Label on back: “Jr. Walker & the All-Stars share the bill with Martha Reeves and the Spinners in the first summer solid gold concert at Meadow Brook Music Festival Wednesday, July 1 at 8 p.m. on the campus of Oakland University near Rochester. For tickets call (313) 377-2010. Meadow Brook is a non-profit cultural program of Oakland University." 

  • Courtesy of the E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts, Detroit Public Library

On this day in music history: July 19, 1969 - “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)” by Jr. Walker & The All Stars hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 2 weeks, also peaking at #4 on the Hot 100 on August 9, 1969. Written by Johnny Bristol, Harvey Fuqua, and Vernon Bullock, it will become the second R&B chart topper for the Motown singer and saxophonist. The track is recorded in late 1968 at Motown’s Studio A in Detroit with members of The Funk Brothers sitting in for members of Walker’s band. The Originals (“Baby I’m For Real”) and The Andantes, will provide the background vocals. “What Does It Take” will initially be passed over for release in one of Motown’s Quality Control meetings in favor of another Jr. Walker song titled “Home Cookin’” (#19 R&B, #42 Pop). When that single is only moderately successful, “What Does It Take” will be immediately pulled from the vault and is released on April 25, 1969. “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)” will take off faster than any of Walker’s singles since “Shotgun” four years before, becoming his second million seller.