... he died on August 18, 2003 when he was 65-years-old.
Tony Jackson, born Anthony Paul Jackson, in Dingle, Liverpool, and nicknamed "Black Jake," joined a guitar duo formed by John McNally and Mike Pender in 1959. The band soon expanded with the addition of drummer Chris Curtis. Originally founded as a skiffle group in Liverpool in 1959, the band took their name from the classic 1956 John Wayne western "The Searchers."
When Tony joined the group with his home-made bass guitar and amplifier, the group was informally known as Tony and the Searchers.
The Searchers played in Liverpool's nightclubs and the beer bars of Hamburg, Germany. Supposedly Brian Epstein considered signing them but he lost interest after seeing a drunken Tony fall off the stage at the Cavern Club.
Tony was lead singer and played bass on the band's first two UK hits, "Sweets for My Sweet" and "Sugar and Spice." In 1964, Jackson was unhappy with the band's move away from rock and roll to a softer, more melodic sound and felt that he was not getting appropriate attention. He left the group and put together a new band, the Vibrations, which had an organ-based sound instead of the Searchers' twelve-string guitars. After minimal success, in 1965 they changed their name to The Tony Jackson Group.
In the 1990s, arthritis in his hands became so bad he had to abandon even recreational guitar playing. Towards the end of his life he suffered from diabetes, heart disease, and cirrhosis of the liver from a lifetime of heavy alcohol consumption.