Wilson Pickett

It’s not just a woman’s prerogative to change, so I am going to lean on that one tonight.  I have been doing and trying to finish a lot of music from the 50’s, but I am just in the mood to move to the mid-sixties and into my “Soul” era.

There where two singers in particular that I really enjoyed.  Unfortunately, one left us too early and one in 2006.  I did enjoy all of the Soul music, especially when I met some of them through my piano playing friend from Vienna, Virginia, Ogden Thompson.  He introduced me to the Ooh Poo Pah Doo guy and I saw Sam and Dave in Georgetown, it was a great time for me, the problem was, and is, I’m “White”.  So let’s take a look at one of my two favourites.

The Wicked Pickett

Wilson Pickett

(March 18, 1941 – January 19, 2006)

I am posting most, if not all, of his Billboard Chartings, and I will include a few that I really enjoyed, that did not make the top 40, so indulge me…

This may not be that important, but it is to me.  Wilson recorded with some very fine musicians.  I have the studio lists for each song, but I would be here for weeks, so here are just a few:

  • Producers:  Jerry Wexler/Wilson Pickett/Steve Cropper/Jim Stewart
  • Vocals:  Wilson Picket
  • Guitar: Steve Cropper/
  • Guitar: Donald “Duck” Dunn/ electric bass
  • Piano: Joe Hall and sometimes Issac Hayes
  • Trumpet: Wayne Jackson
  • Tenor Sax: Andrew Love / Packy Axton
  • Baritone Sax: Floyd Newman
  • Drums: Al Jackson

And the list goes on.

Here are some tracks:

1.   I Found A Love – The Falcons with Wilson Pickett/1962

2.   Don’t Fight It/ Atlantic/ 1965/ #53 Billboard #4 R&B

3.   In the Midnight Hour/ Atlantic 2289/ 8/14/65/ # 21 Billboard # 1 R&B

4.   634-5789 (Soulsville USA)/ Atlantic 2320/ 3/5/66/ # 13 Billboard # 1 R&B

5.   Ninety-Nine and One-Half (won’t do)/ Atlantic/ 12/20/65/ # 53 Billboard # 13 R&B

6.   Land of a Thousand Dances/ Atlantic 2348/ 8/13/66/ # 6 Billboard # 1 R&B

7.   Mustang Sally/ Atlantic 2375/ 12/10/66/ # 23 Billboard # 6 R&B

8.   Everybody needs Somebody to Love/ Atlantic 2381/ 2/25/67/ # 29 Billboard # 19 R&B

9.   I found a love Pt. 1/ Atlantic 2394/ 4/22/67/ # 32 Billboard # 6 R&B

10. Funky Broadway/ Atlantic 2430/ 8/26/67/ # 8 Billboard # 1 R&B

11. Stag-O-Lee (Stagger Lee)/ Atlantic 2448/ 11/11/67/ # 22 Billboard # 13 R&B

12. I’m In Love/ A side/ # 45 Billboard # 4 R&B

13. She’s Lookin’ Good/ Atlantic 2504/ 5/11/68/ # 15 Billboard # 7 R&B

14. I’m a Midnight Mover/ Atlantic 2528/ 7/6/68/ # 24 Billboard # 6 R&B

15. Hey Jude/ Atlantic 2591/ 1/4/69/ # 23 Billboard # 13 R&B

15. Sugar Sugar/ Atlantic 2722/ 5/23/70/ # 25 Billboard # 4 R&B

16. Engine Number 9/ Atlantic 2765/ 10/24/70/ # 14 Billboard # 3 R&B

17. Don’t let the green grass fool You/ Atlantic 2781/ 2/6/71/ # 17 Billboard # 2 R&B

18. Don’t knock my Love Pt 1/ Atlantic 2797/ 5/15/71/ # 13 Billboard # 1 R&B

19. Fire and Water/ Atlantic 2852/ 1/15/72/ # 24 Billboard # 2 R&B

One of the most popular black singers of the ’60s, Wilson Pickett helped introduce the aggressive, rhythmic style of soul music. Aided immeasurably by the excellent studio bands backing him at the Stax Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, and the Fame Studio in Muscle Shoals Alabama, Pickett scored a series of R&B and pop hits on Atlantic Records between 1963 and 1972 that included “In the Midnight Hour,” “Mustang Sally,” and “Funky Broadway.”

Raised in Prattville, Alabama, Wilson Pickett moved to Detroit, Michigan at the age of sixteen and made his professional debut as the lead singer of “The Violinaires” in the late ’50s.

From 1961 to 1963 he was in The Falcons, writing and singing their 1962 hit “I Found A Love.”

Pickett then went solo and signed with Lloyd Price’s Double L Records, where he wrote and recorded “If You Love Me” and “It’s Too Late.”

In 1964, Pickett signed with Atlantic Records and did his early recordings in the Stax studio in Memphis, Tennessee with Booker T. Jones and Steve Cropper of “The MGs”. Cropper co-authored three of his early hits, “In the Midnight Hour” and “Don’t Fight It” from his debut album The Exciting Wilson Pickett that established him as a major soul star.

In The Midnight Hour Don’t Fight ItThe album also included “Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do),” “She’s So Good to Me,” and “Land of a 1,000 Dances,” all recorded at Fame Studio in Muscle Shoals.

Ninety-None and a Half Won’t Do Land Of A Thousand DancesPickett then had hits with “Mustang Sally,” “I Found a Love,” and “Funky Broadway,” all recorded in Muscle Shoals.

Mustang Sally  I Found A Love Funky BroadwayPickett then teamed with Bobby Womack in 1968 for Midnight Mover that yielded a Top 10 R&B and pop hit with Womack’s title song.

In 1969, Pickett had a major hit with The Beatles “Hey Jude,”, followed in 1970 by “Sugar, Sugar.”

Hey Jude Sugar SugarLater in 1970, Pickett worked with producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia. The result was two crossover hits “Engine Number Nine,” and “Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You.”

Engine Number Nine Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool YouAfter crossover hits “Don’t Knock My Love – Part 1” and “Fire and Water” Pickett left Atlantic for RCA, with minimum success. Pickett later recorded for several record companies, including his own Wicked label, but failed to have any more hits.

Don’t Knock My Love – Part 1 Fire and WaterWilson Pickett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. (lastfm)



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