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Big-T & the Bada-Bings


The House That Jack Built:
My Life As A Trailblazer in Broadcasting and Entertainment

By Hal Jackson with James Haskins

Hal Jackson—still on the air today—as a veritable tornado, zipping his way through American broadcasting for well over 60 years. After getting his start as a teenage sportswriter in Washington, DC, Jackson dipped his fingers into promotion, play-by-play announcing, basketball team ownership and community organizing before landing in radio, where his show, "The House That Jack Built," lasted for a solid quarter century on various stations. Breaking racial barriers seems like his favorite hobby; he's got a whirlwind of firsts under his belt, including being the first black network radio announcer, inductee into The Radio Hall of Fame, first host of an interracial network television show and first promoter of a black teen beauty pageant. The man is like a pop-culture Zelig; the photo pages of his new autobiography (Amistad Press), named after his radio program, show him grinning beside every major African-American entertainment personality of the 20th century, from Quicny Jones to Michael Jackson. The book—written with collaborator James Haskins—is a fascinating story on its own merits, but it lacks the soul you might expect from such an entertainment personality. Few personal anecdotes (and you know there must be some great ones) populate the text, either from his private life or from the dozens of music personalities he worked with. Instead, the book reads like a laundry list of milestones without any injection of warmth or color. And one wonders why a man whose laurel-laden career was based on being articulate and persuasive chose to use a ghostwriter. Luckily, considering his eventful life, Jackson's laundry list stands up decently on its own.

—Alison Fensterstock

Year 1999 Reviews
Year 2000 Reviews
Year 2001 Reviews
Year 2002 Reviews
Year 2003 Reviews
Dave Berger and The Sultans of Swing—Doin' The Do!
Blue Lunch—Not Live at the Copa
Blues Jumpers—Royal Motel
Johnny Boyd—The Last Word In
Buddy Blue—Pretend It's Okay
BR549—This is BR549
Dennis Caiazza and Swing Factory—
Liz Callaway—The Beat Goes On
Matt Catingub's Big Kahuna and The Copa Cat Pack—Shake Those Hula Hips!
Cocktail Angst—Big Top Parade
Gerard Carelli—Lucky To Be Me
Rebecca Kyler Downs—
Love Me Like Candy
Gas Money—Hopeless Love Affair
The Good Fellas—Salute!
Charlie Gracie—I'm All Right
Wayne Hancock—A-Town Blues
Skip Heller—Jazz From Hell(er)
Jools Holland—The Swing Album
The Jaztronauts—Swank
Jump 4 Joy—Cutest Lil' Boogie
KGB Swing—Proletarian Swing
Laika And The Cosmonauts—
Laika Sex Machine
Linda & The Big King Jive Daddies—
Linda & The Big King Jive Daddies
Jimmy Luxury—My True Love Is...
Maci Miller—A Very Good Night
Swing Nouveau—Shakin' When Stirred
Alex Pangman—They Say...
The Prairie Cats—'Til the Daytime Fades
Lee Press-On & The Nails—Playing Dirty
Dexter Romweber—Chased By Martins
Frank Sinatra—Sinatra Love Songs
The Stingrays surf Band—
Don't Fear the Reverb
Stardust Records Presents—
Vocal and Jazz Ecstacy
Ron Sunshine & Full Swing—Candy
The Swing-O-Matics—
The Swing-O-Matics
The Swingtips—Roswell
Joe Turley—When The Jitterbug Bites
Mitch Woods—Jump For Joy
Yalloppin' Hounds—New Yalloppin' City

Retro Reading Reviews
The Aloha Shirt
Cine Mexicano, California Crazy & Beyond, Poker
Cult Vegas
Dark City Dames
Entering Germany 1944-1949
The House That Jack Built: My Life As a Trailblazer in Broadcasting and Entertainment
Leni Riefenstahl: Five Lives
Making The Wiseguys Weep:
The Jimmy Roselli Story
Truer Than True Romance
My Father's Daughter—Tina Sinatra
Tell It To The Future


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