Jackie Wilson was a giant in the R&B/soul game when he pulled into town for a show on May 7, 1960 at the Stambaugh Auditorium. An eventual Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Wilson was known for his dynamic stage show and did so with the nickname “Mr. Excitement”. Wilson had four top 10 pop hits in 1960 and was a performer that people like James Brown and Elvis Presley looked up to.
Later that year, Wilson was arrested during in a fan riot on July 17 in New Orleans. It was reported at the time that Wilson was ordered by cops not to mingle with the audience during a performance. When fans attempted to climb on stage, Wilson shoved a police officer who was trying to keep members of the audience off the stage. A violent reaction from those in attendance followed.