Jackie Payne's singing career began over forty years ago with his father's gospel choir in Athens , Georgia . Payne spent his formative years hanging out with his harmonica playing uncle, Georgia bluesman, Neal Pattman . "I first heard Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter from my uncle. He would take me around when I was about four or five and I would sit on his shoulder. He only had one arm and I would sit and hold on and he would blow his harp and let me sing." Payne began singing professionally with the Allen Swing Band out of Atlanta at age thirteen and later joined the R&B group, The Serenaders .
“…a performer of classy presence and subtle physical movement [who’s] got the raspy-voiced Wilson Pickett – Otis Redding thing nailed flat”.
The Los Angeles Times
“…all hype aside, Jackie Payne is one of the finest blues singers and R & B interpreters in the country.”
Joseph Jordan, Southland Blues
“… What can you say about Jackie Payne that hasn’t been said before? He has performed or recorded with just about everyone, but is probably most well known for his work with Johnny Otis. I have yet to hear a blues/r&b singer that puts more emotional intensity or feeling into his work than this man.
…T-Bone Walker’s Mean Old World with Jackie’s vocals sounding like he is expressing a personal issue at times, which only goes to prove what a totally convincing singer this cat is.”
Steve Hinrichsen, Blues Bytes, Online Blues Review