Melvin "Lil' Son" Jackson (August 16, 1915, Tyler, Texas – May 30, 1976, Dallas[1]) was an American blues guitarist and singer. He was a contemporary of Lightnin' Hopkins.[2]


Jackson's mother played gospel guitar, and he played early on in a gospel group, the Blue Eagle Four.[1] He became a mechanic and served in the U.S. Army during World War II, after which he pursued a career as a blues musician.[1] He recorded a demo and sent it to Bill Quinn, the owner of Gold Star Records, in 1946.[2] Quinn signed him to a recording contract and released "Freedom Train Blues" in 1948, which became a nationwide hit in the U.S.[1] Jackson recorded for Imperial Records between 1950 and 1954, both as a solo artist and with a backing band.[1] His 1950 song "Rockin' and Rollin" was recast by later musicians as "Rock Me Baby".[1][3]

Jackson was injured in a car crash in the mid-1950s and gave up his music career, returning to work as a mechanic.[2] He recorded an album for Arhoolie Records in 1960, but did not resume his career as a musician during the blues revival in the 1960s.[2] He died of cancer in 1976 in Dallas, at the age of 60.[1] Eric Clapton recorded Jackson's "Travelin' Alone", for his 2010 album, Clapton.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Dahl, Bill. "Melvin "Lil' Son" Jackson – Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved May 30, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. pp. 122–123. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
  3. ^ Escott, Colin (2002). B.B. King: The Vintage Years (Box set booklet). B.B. King. Ace Records. p. 44. Ace ABOXCD 8.
  4. ^ Cober-Lake, Justin. "Eric Clapton: Clapton". PopMatters. Retrieved August 7, 2020.