something was terribly wrong and told the musicians to kill the music.
Cornell Gunter, the lead singer of the group, Coasters, was backstage and saw that Wilson wasn’t breathing. Gunter was able to revive him and Wilson was rushed to a nearby hospital. Medical personnel worked for a half-hour to stabilize him. However, the lack of oxygen to Wilson’s brain caused him to slip into a coma.
Wilson briefly emerged from his coma in early 1976, and was even able to take a few steps. Unfortunately, he slipped back into a semi-comatose state and he ultimately died from complications due to pneumonia on Jan. 21, 1984, at 49.
Many have said that Wilson was broke allegedly because his manager, Nat Tarnopol, jacked millions of dollars from him.
Now here’s the thing that most people never knew happened with Dick Clark: During Wilson’s comatose state, Clark found out that Jackie was broke. So after receiving word of that, Clark REFUSED to sit by and watch Wilson’s health be compromised because of financial deficiencies, so he committed himself to paying Jackie’s medical bills all the way up to the very day that Jackie died, which was 8 years and 4 months after his heart attack. Incredible!
Who would’ve thought that this unlikely match up would have ended up happening? At that time, Dick Clark was just known as the dude on American Bandstand, but he was obviously a real stand up guy for doing what he did. There’s no telling what would have happened to Jackie Wilson soon after his heart attack, had Clark not have stepped up.
Here is the irony in this, Dick Clark passed away on April 18, 2012, from the same thing Jackie suffered on his show in 1975, a massive heart attack.
Jackie Wilson’s funeral was attended by more than 1,000 people in his hometown, Detroit, and he was buried in an unmarked grave in the Motor City. He was estimated to be $300,000 in debt at the time of his death. Months later, fans in Detroit raised money to purchase a mausoleum and re-interred him inside the structure at the Westlawn Cemetery in Wayne, Mich.
What Dick Clark and Jackie Wilson’s fans did for him, reminds us of knowledge Muhammad Ali once dropped on us: “Service you to others is like the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
Here’s a very rare live performance of the late, Jackie Wilson…
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