Jackson, Willis, Sir, 1904-1970

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Willis "Gator Tail" Jackson, composer, arranger and saxophonist, was born in 1932 in Miami, Florida. He began studying the piano at age ten, then added the clarinet, and made his professional debut at age fourteen on the tenor saxophone with local bands. Jackson studied theory and harmony at Florida A & M University, and later worked and toured with Cootie Williams, Dinah Washington and Jackie Wilson, among others. He formed various groups including the Willis Jackson Organ Quartet and the Willis Jackson Orchestra and utilized a rhythm and blues sound as well as jazz. His invention, the Jackson's Gator Horn, is a saxophone used for ballads whose sound is a cross "between soprano and alto [saxophone] and French horn and clarinet." He died in 1987.

From the guide to the Willis Jackson Papers, 1955-1984, (The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.)

Born Burnley, Lancashire, 1904; educated Burnley Grammar School, 1916-1922; read electrical engineering at Manchester University, 1922-1925; lecturer in Electrical Engineering, Burnley Municipal College, 1925-1926, Bradford Technical College, 1926-1929; Graduate apprentice, Metropolitan-Vickers, 1929-1930; lecturer in Electrical Engineering, Manchester College of Technology, 1930-1933; postgraduate student at Magdalen College, Oxford, 1933-1936; DPhil, Oxford University, 1936; DSc, Manchester University, 1936; Research Engineer, Metropolitan-Vickers, 1936-1938; Professor of Electro-technics, Manchester University, 1936-1946; Professor of Electrical Engineering, Imperial College, London, 1946-1953; elected Fellow of the Royal Society, 1953; member of the Royal Commission on the Civil Service, 1953; Director of Research and Education, Metropolitan Vickers, 1953-1961; knighted, 1958; Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering, Imperial College, 1961-1970; Pro-Rector of Imperial College, 1967-1970; life peer, 1967; devoted much time and energy to public service, especially on matters connected with education, science and technology in Britain and in developing countries, notably India and Africa; served on many official committees and advisory councils; died, 1970. Jackson began to compile what he called his 'scrapbooks' in 1952 as a pastime on an Atlantic sea-crossing. Originally intended as a private record of social and personal engagements, the project developed into materials for a relatively complete autobiography, with annotations and 'chapter-headings' added by Jackson. He continued the work until his death, and also compiled a retrospective account from his schooldays onwards. Publications: High Frequency Transmission Lines, etc (London, 1945); Advanced Courses in Electrical Engineering [London, 1950]; The Insulation of Electrical Equipment, Editor (Chapman & Hall, London, 1954); Scientific, Technological and Technical Manpower (University of Southampton, [Southampton], 1963); A Review of the scope and problems of scientific and technological manpower policy [Chairman, Professor Sir Willis Jackson] (Parliamentary Papers, London, 1965); Macdonald Trends and Developments in Engineering Series General editor (Macdonald, London, 1965-); Technology and the developing countries (London, University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, 1966).

From the guide to the JACKSON, Willis, Baron Jackson of Burnley (1904-1970), 1916-1970, (Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn United States Sanitary Commission records. Army and Navy Claim Agency archives, 1861-1870 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Duke Ellington recordings collection Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard College Library
referencedIn GABOR, Professor Dennis (1900-1979), 1911-1985 Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
creatorOf JACKSON, Willis, Baron Jackson of Burnley (1904-1970), 1916-1970 Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
creatorOf Willis Jackson Papers, 1955-1984 The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Ashby Eric 1904-1992 person
associatedWith Ash Sir Eric Albert 1928 person
associatedWith Associated Electrical Industries corporateBody
associatedWith Blackett Patrick Maynard Stuart 1897-1974 person
associatedWith Bowden Bertram Vivian 1910-1989 person
associatedWith Cherry Edward Colin 1914-1979 person
associatedWith Cockcroft Sir John Douglas 1897-1967 person
associatedWith Delhi Institute of Technology corporateBody
associatedWith Dodge, Joseph Jeffers person
associatedWith Gabor, Dennis, 1900-1979 person
associatedWith Great Britain Admiralty corporateBody
associatedWith Great Britain Department of Scientific and Industrial Research corporateBody
associatedWith Great Britain Ministry of Defence corporateBody
associatedWith Great Britain Ministry of Education corporateBody
associatedWith Great Britain Ministry of Overseas Development corporateBody
associatedWith Great Britain Ministry of Technology corporateBody
associatedWith Hartley Sir Hartley 1878-1972 person
associatedWith Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine corporateBody
associatedWith Institution of Electrical Engineers corporateBody
associatedWith Manchester Institute of Science and Technology corporateBody
associatedWith Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Co Ltd corporateBody
associatedWith Moullin Eric Balliol 19281893-1963 electrical engineer person
associatedWith Ollerenshaw Dame Kathleen Mary 1912 person
associatedWith Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development corporateBody
associatedWith Penney William George 1909-1991 1st Baron Penney of East Hendred nuclear scientist person
associatedWith Saxton John Arthur 1914-1980 person
associatedWith United States Sanitary Commission corporateBody
associatedWith Weiner Joseph Sidney fl 1952 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
African American musicians
Educational administrators


Birth 1904-10-29

Death 1970-02-17


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