“It’s not what you play, it’s what you say” says Jim Wacker, composer, keyboardist, singer, entertainer, multi-instrumentalist, all around great guy.
As well as with his own band, and solo shows, he’s been touring the world as keyboardist, singer, and arranger/musical director of Chubby Checker and the Wildcats since the 80s. He’s played with Len Barry, Jon Bon Jovi, Bowser, Rocky Burnette, the Cadillacs, the Capris, Freddie Cannon, Mel Carter, the Chantels, Lou Christie, Jimmy Clanton, the Coasters, the Crystals, Spencer Davis, Bo Diddly, the Drifters, the Dubs, Duprees, the Emotions, the Excellents, Fabian, Johny Farina, the Fireflies, Frankie Ford, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, Chuck Jackson, Johnny and Joe, Billy J Kramer, Dickey Lee, Bobby Lewis, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Darlene Love, the Marcels, Peggy March, the Marvelettes, the Passions, the Platters, Randy and the Rainbows, Billy Joe Royal, Mitch Ryder, Tommy Roe, Bobby Rydell, the Shangri-Las, Del Shannon, Dee Dee Sharp, the Shirelles, Jimmy Beaumont & the Skyliners, Bruce Springsteen, the Tokens, the Toys, the Teenagers, the Tymes, Johnny Tilotson, the Videos, the Volumes, and Kathy Young among the greats and some greats who aren’t famous. –In the band, not just on the same bill.
He’s written and recorded endlessly at his Locomotive Recording Studio, and other studios and composed, with lyricist/singer Donna Heffernan, a operatic version of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”, which had an off-Broadway run at NYC’s KaleidoscopeTheatre Company.
He’s written a massive catalog of thousands of rock, jazz, classical, and other pieces. Now, with his band, Collateral Damage, and other great talents that tend to stop by at their shows, he is fulfilling a dream of playing just what he and his cohorts want to play. “The great classic songs, new songs, and songs in the process of being born,” he says.
—Jack Peters,The Great Eastern Daily Wisdom