Mello Yello: The Incredible Life Story of Jack the Rapper

Mello Yello: The Incredible Life Story of Jack the Rapper

by Walker Smith




In the 1920s a little boy named Jack Gibson shook hands with the great Marcus Garvey. Over the course of his amazing life, Gibson continued to cross paths with the most famous personalities of the 20th century. He would become a giant of the music industry, known to all as “Jack the Rapper.”

In the '40s, he and J.B. Blayton established the first black-owned radio station in the United States—WERD. As a disc jockey and emcee, he built enduring friendships with the royalty of black entertainment: Sammy Davis Jr., Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Nat King Cole, Pearl Bailey, Nancy Wilson, and Ray Charles. In the '60s and '70s, he worked at Motown, Revelot, and Stax promoting a new generation of stars: Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson, Isaac Hayes, and The Staple Singers.

During the Civil Rights Movement, he reported history as he lived it. He interviewed both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, and reported from Detroit as it burned following Dr. King's assassination.

As publisher of an influential Black trade magazine called the Mello Yello, Gibson contributed to sweeping changes for African Americans in radio and the recording industry. But The Rapper's most long-reaching achievement was his glittering “Family Affair”—an annual black music convention and springboard for new talent. The heavy hitters of the music industry always cleared their schedules to lend their talents to The Rapper's big night: Prince, Tina Turner, Janet Jackson, James Brown, Whitney Houston, Eddie Murphy, Hammer, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Sinbad, L.L. Cool J, Babyface, Heavy D, Tupac, Queen Latifah, Snoop Dogg, Suge Knight, Bobby Brown... And the list goes on like a “Who's Who” of entertainment superstars.

This tell-all book contains the inside stories you have never heard before…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780990499640
Publisher: Sonata Books, LLC
Publication date: 01/15/2015
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

With a background in writing and music, Walker recorded three solo albums with the prestigious Casablanca label before shifting back to writing. Moving from the L.A. music scene to New York, she wrote interviews and commentary for Vertigo and African Voices, as well as features for the Reel Sisters Film Festival. After the publication of her first novel The Color Line, she completed two additional novels, Bluestone Rondo and Letters from Rome. Mello Yello is the result of a two-year collaboration with Jack Gibson.

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