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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, USA
Died in Riverside, California, USA
Birth NameJames Wood Coleman

Mini Bio (1)

Jimmie Jackson was born on February 2, 1914 in Jackson, Mississippi, USA as James Wood Coleman. He is known for his work on Memory Lane (1947), The Downtown Show (1957) and Memory Lane (1991). He died on September 27, 2001 in Riverside, California, USA.

Trivia (8)

In 1940, "The Jack Benny Program" radio show was almost pulled off the air by Hollywood Musicians' Union Local 47 over a conflict with "The Jimmie Jackson Show", which was broadcast over Warner Brothers Hollywood station KFWB. During those ten years on KFWB the announcers for both his "Jimmie Jackson Show" and his "Jimmie Jackson's Memory Lane" show were Neil Reagan (brother of future US President Ronald Reagan) and Hal Smith (better known as Otis the Town Drunk on The Andy Griffith Show (1960)).
One of the Sunday "Dixie Dugan" syndicated comic strips drawn by J.P. McEvoy and J.H. Strirbel (1948) features Dixie Dugan having a chance encounter with Hollywood celebrity Jimmie Jackson in a music store. As with this comic strip, it was not uncommon for friends in the industry to slip in the name of stars they knew and associated with. Hal Smith also took such an opportunity to do a tongue-in-cheek zinger on Jimmie in The Andy Griffith Show: Goodbye Sheriff Taylor (1964). The quip was when Otis Campbell, acting as a school crossing guard, has an encounter with a mischievous child named "Little Jimmie Jackson"..
In the early 1940s, because of simmering tensions between Japan and the United States, a clandestine group of American pilots formed a unit that flew for the Nationalist Chinese Air Force, known as the AVG (American Volunteer Group), although they were still Amerian citizens. They became better known as the "Flying Tigers", about which several movies and television series were made. These citizen heroes came from all over the US and sailed to China from Los Angeles. From the very first "wave," these boys took advantage of being in Hollywood, and one of the favorite things to do was a visit to the Warner Brothers' radio station, KFWB, and watch the "Jimmie Jackson Show" live. Jimmie became very attached to them, as did his wife Anita Coleman, and they would see each "wave" off at the dock wishing them "God's speed." Jimmie wrote a song entitled "Flying China Blues"m which was all about the Flying Tigers and their bravery. That song became the Flying Tigers' fighting song. After WWII ended Jimmie performed at many of the "Flying Tiger" reunions. Jimmiem along with his good friend Bob Prescott (President of the Flying Tiger Airlines, which was later sold to FedEx) started the first "Hungary Tiger" restaurant in Sherman Oaks, California, together, that was to become the largest restaurant chain in that state ten years later.
Commercial history was made on "The Jimmie Jackson Show" broadcasting over WJDX back in the early 1930s. Jimmie wanted to do something different to entice his listeners to pay more attention to the message of his show's sponsors, so he decided to "sing" their spots. The station protested, saying that people don't pay attention to words in songs and that only by reading the sponsor's material in a clear and distinct delivery would any response to the product be achieved. Jackson ignored the station's directive that he only read the copy and initiated what is considered one of the very first "singing commercials" in broadcast history. The station's switchboard lit up and the sponsor's business drastically increased, causing them to request Jackson to "please keep it up!".
From 1955-65 he was honored by being appointed the "Honorary Sheriff of Calabasas," a community located in northern Los Angeles County, in the San Fernando Valley..
When Annette Funicello was 17 years old Jackson arranged for her to be given the designation of the "Sweetheart of the San Fernando Valley Mayors" at the May 2, 1957, grand opening of his new restaurant, Tambour ("drum" in an African dialect) in Tarzana. Jackson was longtime friends with Virginia and Joe Funicello, Annette's parents, and wanted to do something special for their daughter in connection with his restaurant's opening. Jackson called together some of his old friends and former guests from his Hollywood television show Memory Lane (1947) who were now "honorary" mayors of various small towns in the San Fernando Valley. Covering the event was the "Valley News and Green Sheet"--now "The Valley News"--and the "Los Angelos Times." Annette was escorted by actor J.P. Sloane, who presented her with the corsage she is seen wearing in the newspaper photo. Jimmie, Annette and J.P. would later co-star together in a television special, An Evening at the Inn (1962).
In 1949 Johnnie Parsons came in second place in the world-famous Indianapolis 500 Race. Believing Johnnie could win the following year, a week before Parsons was to compete again in the 1950 Memorial Day Indy 500 Jackson used a new technology--the wire recorder--to record he and Johnnie having the winning interview in Jimmie's living room, as if Parsons had just won the race, which in fact he did. People were amazed at how Jimmie Jackson was able to interview Parsons "live" on Memory Lane (1947) right after the race and "scoop" the major networks and everyone else. This was a television first using this new technology in this manner.
Father of J.P. Sloane.

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