“DIVA” DAISY JACKSON REMEMBERED Former Air Force Singer’s Memorial to be held Saturday

By Wesley Martin

I hate to use this word, but there was a certain amount of ‘grace’ to her,” said Brian Jones, Retired Master Sergeant of the Air Force, when speaking on Pensacola native, Daisy Jackson. “If her singing was edible, we would all have high cholesterol because it was just buttery and sumptuous.”
“She could sing any kind of style,” Jones continued.  “I heard her sing jazz. I heard her sing in Vivaldi which is a very clear, regimented style of singing … But, she was most known for her lush, gorgeous voice.”

Many familiar with Jackson remember and recognize her as a member of The U.S. Air Force Band. With the band, the Lyric soprano had a chance to appear on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and the “Today” show. She was also the first person receive the Margaret Cochran Corbin Award for exceptional military service given by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Jackson attended the University of West Florida earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education. She also attended Peabody Conservatory of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia to further her studies.

But, her music education began in childhood.

Emmet L. Thompson was Jackson’s band director during the 1960’s at Booker T. Washington Jr. High.

“She should have been up there with the great ones,” Thompson said. “Although music is highly competitive, she had the voice.”

Thompson said Jackson was a very ambitious person and that he wasn’t surprised of her success.

“She took all of her work very seriously,” Thompson said.  “And, she was a person who could endure – she wouldn’t give up on things easily.”

Jackson was not only a great singer and servicewoman, she was also a mentor.

“I got promoted to Master Sergeant and a lot of that had to do with the opportunities she gave me,” Brian Jones said.  “I consider her one of my mentors. She had an amazing influence on me as a young member of the military.

Sadly, Jackson passed away July 15 of this year at the age of 62. A memorial service will be held in her honor Saturday, September 22 at the Naval Aviation Memorial Chapel (190 Radford Blvd.) beginning 12 p.m. noon.

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