*Northridge California – Jr. Walker’s middle son, Derek DeWalt, and Kambon Obayani, have written a book titled The Jr. Walker Story; The Man Behind The Sax released Jasmaya Productions and Publications. A long overdue biography, The Jr. Walker Story is a book about Jr. Walker’s music, life, death and the view of it all through his son’s eyes.
On his 10th birthday Jr. Walker, who was born Autry DeWalt Mixon, Jr., was given a saxophone by his adoptive parents. A few years later in the mid 1950s, his musical career began when he developed his own band at the age of 14. That sax ignited Jr.’s journey from Arkansas to Indiana to Battle Creek, Michigan to Motown and beyond to become the front-man and music’s legendary Jr. Walker & The All Stars who initially signed with Motown Records Soul imprint in 1961. Their first and signature hit was “Shotgun“, which reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart in 1965. The record was followed by many other hits, such as “(I’m A) Road Runner”, “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)“,”Pucker Up Buttercup” and 1969’s top 5 hit, “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) among others.
The Jr. Walker story is inspired by the soulful music Jr. shared with the world and by the voids of love, longing and struggles a son naturally feels for a father who is consequently absent to family and the son who loves him so. The story explores the anger and confusion a child feels when witnessing and enduring his mother being abused by his father in various ways while the world consistently loved and praised the abuser. And finally this story tells of a son’s attempt to reconcile and forgive a father with layered personalities and complexities.
Derek DeWalt is currently the Walker/DeWalt family spokesman and the manager of the Jr. Walker band. Derek and the family recently won a long running lawsuit with Motown Records and Jobete/EMI music for past due royalties and is still battling various bands (containing some former sideman) which are illegally using Jr. Walker’s name and giving concerts worldwide. Co-author Kambon Obayani, who is also the owner of Jasmaya Productions and Publications is building up quite a catalogue as the author/co-author of various celebrity book and biographies, while continuing his roles as a professor of English at California State University “CSU” in Northridge, California.
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