Osie Jackson Presented By Country Music Planet
Osie Jackson & his book, Shaking Hands With Fame are presented here.

 

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Presents

Shaking Hands With Fame
The Adventurous Live Of Osie Jackson
"Memoirs Of An Entertainment Promoter"
Special Guests: Osie Jackson & Londa L. woody
Host: Jerry Mac

   Osie Jackson grew up in Ft. Myers, Florida where his father worked for a large printing firm and his mother was a homemaker. He spent his These are pictures of just a few of the celebrities Osie has worked with.boyhood years much of the time on the Thomas Edison estate with the sons of the caretaker, playing football and fishing from the dock that framed one end of the beautiful estate.
   Following high school Osie joined the Air Force in 1952, serving as an intelligence specialist. Home on furlough, he was reunited with classmate, Shirley Blackman. Even more beautiful than he remembered her, they began dating and corresponding. In 1954 they were married. Their first child, Danny was born in 1956, with Susan following a year later. By the time their third child Mark, came along they were stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska, and just in time to witness a mile-stone. While outside one day, Osie saw a hot-air balloon floating overhead with a huge star attached to it. Alaska had just made statehood. The year was 1958 and the forty-ninth state was admitted to the Union.
   Osie chose an early-out when the Air force wanted to keep him in Alaska an extra year and send his family back stateside. He was quickly employed by The Martin Company, as a buyer of raw materials (aluminum, etc.) for the building of missiles.
   Osie and Shirley added three more children, Ronnie, Mitch and Lonnie during the next ten years. However, the marriage did not survive. Much to Osieís dismay, they decided to part ways in 1968. Osie chose to leave Florida and head to North Carolina where his parents had recently relocated in western Appalachia.
   The family stayed in Franklin, North Carolina for the next five years, and then moved to Anderson, South Carolina. Osie at loose ends, moved with them. Without his family, he didnít really care at this point, where he lived. He took a job driving cars for Carolina Fleet, which ultimately took him to Nashville and altered the course of his life for the next 20 some years.
   On a whim he walked into a managerial office that represented various entertainers and naively asked how to break into show business; not in the normal capacity of performing but backstage work. And by golly, it led to a career that spanned the next two decades. Osie worked for and with some of the biggest names in the entertainment field, Elvis, Liberace, Bill Cosby, plus made a multitude of friends in the industry, friends he is still in touch with today.
   After heart surgery in 1990, Osie chose to hang up his spurs and retired to a simpler life back in the mountains of North Carolina. He lives a quiet life today with his sister and one of his sons. But once in awhile he gets the itch to arrange and promote a show and calls up old friends, Ron and RW Blackwood or The Stamps Quartet. They come and put on a stellar performance for their old buddy, and for a while it is just like the old days. Itís during these times Osie gets to revel in the past for awhile, still Shaking Hands With Fame.

About Osie's Biographer
Meet author Londa L. Woody

   I met Osie Jackson in the fall of 2002. His sister, Laura Mae, was a friend of mine and she had given me a complimentary ticket to a Blackwood's concert, held at the Fine Arts Center in Franklin, North Carolina. Before the show started, the Blackwood brothers took a few moments to shake hands and speak with people in the audience. They came right over to Laura Mae and gave her a big hug. Ron and R. W. were personable, friendly and though gospel performers, the whole group shared a humorous side of themselves. Laura Mae was unabashed in asking for an autographed picture for me. I sat riveted watching the show as they sang many of their own songs, along with other gospel classics. Part of the show was a tribute to Elvis and J. D. Sumner. Their show was wonderful.
   At the end of their performance, Ron asked Osie to come down front. It was then I realized the depth of friendship that existed between the Blackwood brothers and the promoter who had brought them there. Ron asked the crowd for donations to help defer the expenses of the show. Osie had passed out more than a dozen, $12.00 tickets to his friends and neighbors, and though I was neither, and hadn't met him prior to that night, I had been a lucky
recipient of one of those tickets. I soon learned his nature was giving. I sat that night and watched from the audience as a wonderful group of entertainers paid marked respect for a friend.
   This project has allowed me a glimpse into a world filled with teen-age idols and other celebrities: such as Elvis. How I would love to have been at Graceland, riding in Elvis' golf cart at one o'clock in the morning! What a thrill it would have been to sit in on a recording session with him. Osie never lost his enthusiasm for attending so many of Elvis' concerts. And that old pirate, Colonel Parker, running the whole shebang with his power stogy stuck between his teeth.
   J. D. Sumner and the Stamps...Way Down. I have watched J. D. sing with Elvis and on the Gaither's Home Coming show, his bass voice reverberating through me. The Blackwoods, LeGardes, the list was endless.
   We left many pages in Osie's career unturned, simply because the book would have been too long. He shared many wonderful things with me, and taught me a little about the world of entertaining. Osie's thirst
for the entertainment business was never quenched. He soaked it in like a sponge from every one he worked with. And although he has been faced with many temptations, he's been able to resist. I think this says a lot for his character.
   I feel I am a better person for knowing him. What a humble soul he is. The experience of writing his memoirs has enriched my life. Now, some of what he learned, he had passed on through me to you, the reader. Thank you, Osie.

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Londa Thomas Woody grew up in Monmouth, Illinois. She and her husband retired to the Smoky Mountians in 1996. Beautiful western North Carolina has inspired many of her short stories. She was a guest writer for Mountain Ideals Magazine for one year. Currently, Londa has her first novel, Rose Upon the Sea in editing and her fourth, Dancin' On The Woodbox will be finished by the end of the year.

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