An American saxophonist who led Junior Walker & the All Stars were signed to the Motown label in the 1960s, and became one of the label's signature acts.
His career started when he developed his own band at the age of 14, in the mid 1950s as the 'Jumping Jacks'. His longtime friend Billy Nix (drummer) started his own group the 'Rhythm Rockers.' Periodically Nix would sit in on Jumping Jack's shows, and Walker would sit in on the Rhythm Rockers shows.
Nix obtained a permanent gig at a local TV station in South Bend, Indiana, and asked Walker to join him and his keyboard player (Fred Patton) permanently. Shortly after, Nix would asked Willie Woods a local singer to perform with the group; shortly after Woods would learn how to play guitar also.
The group was spotted by Johnny Bristol, and he recommended them to Harvey Fuqua, in 1961, who had his own record labels.
In 1979, Junior Walker went solo and was signed to Norman Whitfield's Whitfield Records label.
He was not as successful as he had been with the All Stars in his Motown period. Walker also played the sax on the group Foreigner's "Urgent" in 1981.
Junior Walker died on November 23, 1995 in Battle Creek, Michigan of cancer at the age of 64.
He had been inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Foundation that year. Drummer James Graves died in 1967 in a car accident, and guitarist Willie Woods in 1997 at age 60.