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Jokey Wilson

September 20, 1987

Comparing Howard Huntsberry to the late Jackie Wilson (whom he portrayed in "La Bamba") is sacrilegious (Popline, Aug. 30).

Unfortunately, Jackie was in a coma for 10 years before his death, so most of the unwitting public again had the wool pulled over their eyes.

Wilson, in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, had an operatic voice and had the best moves of any rock singer.

Luckily there is fairly extensive footage available of Wilson--movies ("Teenage Millionaire") and, coincidentally, the only movie with Ritchie Valens, "Go, Johnny, Go."

There are also circulating bootleg tapes of his electrifying appearances on "Midnight Special" in the early 1970s.

After viewing those, comparing Huntsberry to Wilson is no different from comparing Elvis impersonators to the King, or "Beatlemania" to the real thing.

JOHN M. STALBERG

Pacific Palisades

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