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Junior Walker & the All-Stars

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Biography

b. Autry DeWalt II, 14 June 1931, Blytheville, Arkansas, USA, d. 23 November 1995, Battle Creek, Michigan, USA. Walker’s record label, Motown Records, stated that he was born in 1942. He was inspired to take up the saxophone by the jump blues and R&B bands he heard in the early 50s. In his mid-teens, he formed his first instrumental group, the Jumping Jacks, adopting the stage name Junior Walker after a childhood nickname. By 1961 he had achieved a prominent local reputation, which reached the ear of label owner and former Moonglow, Harvey Fuqua. He signed Walker to his Harvey label, allowing him free rein to record a series of raw saxophone-led instrumentals. In 1964 Walker followed Fuqua to Motown, where he perfected a blend of raunchy R&B and Detroit soul typified by his 1965 hit, ‘Shotgun’. With its repeated saxophone riffs and call-and-response vocals, it established Walker as the label’s prime exponent of traditional R&B, a reputation that was confirmed by later hits like ‘Shake And Fingerpop’ and ‘Road Runner’. The latter was produced by Holland/Dozier/Holland, who also encouraged Walker to record instrumental versions of hits they had written for other Motown artists. Walker’s style became progressively more lyrical in the late 60s, a development that reached its peak on the 1969 US Top 5 hit, ‘What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)?’ This also marked the pinnacle of his commercial success, as subsequent attempts to repeat the winning formula were met with growing public indifference, and from 1972 onwards the All Stars recorded only sporadically. Hot Shot in 1976, produced by Brian Holland, marked a move towards the burgeoning disco market, which was confirmed on two further albums that year, Walker’s first as a solo artist. In 1979, he was one of several Motown artists to move to Whitfield Records. Finding his career deadlocked, Walker returned to Motown in 1983, issuing Blow The House Down, an exercise in reclaiming lost ground. The novelty single ‘Sex Pot’ rekindled memories of his classic hits, although Walker’s greatest commercial success in the 80s came when he guested with Foreigner and played the magnificent saxophone solo on their hit single ‘Urgent’. He lost a two-year battle with cancer in November 1995.
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Shotgun
  3.   What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)
  4.   (I'm A) Road Runner
  5.   What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)
  6.   Money (That's What I Want)
  7.   (Baby) I Need You
  8.   I Don't Want to Do Wrong
  9.   Shake Everything
  10.   Pucker Up Buttercup
  11.   Break Down and Sing
  12.   All in Love Is Fair
  13.   Nothing for Nothing
  14.   US
  15.   Groove Thang
  16.   How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)
  17.   Way Back Home
  18.   Gotta Hold on to This Feeling by Junior Walker
  19.   Sweet Daddy Deacon
  20.   Brainwasher, Pt. 1
  21.   Nothing But Soul
  22.   Mutiny
  23.   My Lonely World
  24.   Dancin' Like They Do on Soul Train
  25.   Moonlight In Vermont
  26.   Road Burner (Son of Road Runner)
  27.   Shoot Your Shot
  28.   I Ain't That Easy to Loose
  29.   Killing Me Softly With This Song
  30.   At a Saturday Matinee
  31.   Willie's Blues
  32.   Decidedly
  33.   Sock It Too Um
  34.   Baby You Know You Ain't Right
  35.   Don't Blame the Children
  36.   Just Can't Get Enough
  37.   Ame' Cherie (Soul Darling)
  38.   Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)
  39.   Walk in the Night
  40.   Take Me Girl, I'm Ready
  41.   Satan's Blues
  42.   The Things I Do for You
  43.   Fannie Mae
  44.   Sweet Soul
  45.   Shake and Fingerpop
  46.   Cleo's Back
  47.   Tune Up
  48.   Jag Jockey
  49.   Brainwasher, Pt. 2
  50.   Cleo's Mood
  51.   Everybody Get Together
  52.   I Ain't Going Nowhere
  53.   Hewbie Steps Out
  54.   Baby Ain't You Shame
  55.   Soul Darling '68
  56.   Three Four Three
  57.   Probe Your Mind
  58.   Do You See My Love (For You Growing)
  59.   Boogie Down
  60.   Mark Anthony
  61.   Me and My Family
  62.   I Need You Here Right Now
  63.   Cool, Cool Baby
  64.   Anyway You Wannta
  65.   Good Rockin
  66.   Riding High on Love
  67.   My Love
  68.   Moody Junior
  69.   Eight Hour Drag
  70.   These Things Will Keep Me Loving You
  71.   Twist Lackawanna
  72.   You Are the Sunshine of My Life
  73.   These Eyes
  74.   Brainwasher
  75.   Urgent
  76.   Hip City, Pt. 1
  77.   San-Ho-Zay
  78.   Right on Brothers and Sisters
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