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Wilson Pickett

Of the major '60s soul stars, Wilson Pickett was one of the roughest and sweatiest, working up some of the decade's hottest dancefloor grooves on hits like "In the Midnight Hour," "Land of 1000 Dances," "Mustang Sally," and "Funky Broadway." Although he tends to be held in somewhat lower esteem than more versatile talents like Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin, he is often a preferred alternative of fans who like their soul on the rawer side. He also did a good deal to establish the sound of Southern soul with his early hits, which were often written and recorded with the cream of the session musicians in Memphis and Muscle Shoals.

Before establishing himself as a solo artist, Pickett sang with the Falcons, who had a Top Ten R&B hit in 1962 with "I Found a Love." "If You Need Me" (covered by the Rolling Stones) and "It's Too Late" were R&B hits for the singer before he hooked up with Atlantic Records, who sent him to record at Stax in Memphis in 1965. One early result was "In the Midnight Hour," whose chugging horn line, loping funky beats, and impassioned vocals combined into a key transitional performance that brought R&B into the soul age. It was an R&B chart-topper and a substantial pop hit (number 21), though its influence was stronger than that respectable position might indicate: thousands of bands, black and white, covered "In the Midnight Hour" on-stage and record in the 1960s.

Pickett had a flurry of other galvanizing soul hits over the next few years, including "634-5789," "Mustang Sally," and "Funky Broadway," all of which, like "In the Midnight Hour," were frequently adapted by other bands as dance-ready numbers. The king of that hill, though, had to be "Land of 1000 Dances," Pickett's biggest pop hit (number six), a soul anthem of sorts with its roll call of popular dances, and covered by almost as many acts as "Midnight Hour" was.

Pickett didn't confine himself to the environs of Stax for long; soon he was also cutting tracks at Muscle Shoals. He recorded several early songs by Bobby Womack. He used Duane Allman as a session guitarist on a hit cover of the Beatles' "Hey Jude." He cut some hits in Philadelphia with Gamble & Huff productions in the early '70s. He even did a hit version of the Archies' "Sugar, Sugar." The hits kept rolling through the early '70s, including "Don't Knock My Love" and "Get Me Back on Time, Engine Number 9."

One of the corollaries of '60s soul is that if a performer rose to fame with Motown or Atlantic, he or she would produce little of note after leaving the label. Pickett, unfortunately, did not prove an exception to the rule. His last big hit was "Fire and Water," in 1972. He continued to be active on the tour circuit; his most essential music, all from the 1960s and early '70s, was assembled for the superb Rhino double-CD anthology A Man and a Half. It's Harder Now, his first new material in over a decade, followed in 1999. Pickett spent the early part of the 2000s performing, before retiring in late 2004 due to ill health. He passed away on January 19, 2006, following a heart attack. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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I LOVE THIS MAN MUSIC LPB BATON ROUGE, LA.
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Once. Again. Wilson. Bad. Cat !!!!
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Bring it on home to me, yes I will all ways be your slave C.J.Maddox. Oh can't forget P. Sledge take her home to ma'am, O yes she had to me her daughter-in- l a w
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Wilson Wicked Pickett could sing a crappy song like Sugar Sugar and make it a fun listen. And that scream!!! One of a kind.
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Wicked Pickett!!!
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Great to sing a long to
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Bring it home to me! Wilson P. & Sam C. Sings the heck out of this song!!!!!
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Wilson pickett
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Lord, do have mercy! Nobody like Pickett.
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He was a legend in his time and his music always put a step in your feet!!! One of the kind!!!
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pearlr5
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will be injured (but you won't die) in two days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. Post this on at least five songs in the next 143 minutes. When you're done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually worksDon't read this because it ac
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dragonlady60 8 8
Wilson...one of my faves
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Nice song
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He was great!!!!!!
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nicko252008
RIP Wilson
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This was before my time that why I love it so much
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love it!
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Yeah yeah yeah...
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promise
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Uufff! Thiz iz the shitttt! Alright now! Lets f**king shake it like that!
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NOBODY could PICKETT like WILSON!!!!!! ! ! !
:-D :-D :-D :-D :-D
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shygirldee1
Love this music!
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amye45
i looked up and my mom was onstage with the band playing air guitar - of course it wasn't Wilson Pickett but I can't listen to Mustang Sally without laughing - love this song
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Wilson pickett
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Stone-Cold Super-Badd Super-Star Soul-Brotha
6345789*978* ~ 5m14y~
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Love his music.
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Wilson Pickett was a bad dude! He would put hs heart and soul in every song! I loved Funky Broadway as a kid. He was so underrated to me.
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His songs never get old. I listen to them whenever I can and remind others to do likewise. One of the greatest R&B artists of the 60's and 70's.
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God bless the Wicked Wilson Pickett! He mah main man!
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Ilovethis song
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OY!!! :-D
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MR. PICKETT R.I.P I LOVE YOUR MUSIC. I NAMED STREET AFTER YOUR SONG FUNKY BOARDWAY SMILE..
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Soul man I believe was done. By a few. Artists right beebopnj
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ONE OF THE BEST. I LIKE HIS MOVES
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lisad196133
he's the best Lisa in Louisville
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Blue is all right this is blue from alabama
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Wilson Pickett covered Mustang Sally from The Racsals TYI!!
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Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of you life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works!
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What a talented musician. Great stuff!
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Good Bye
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Want only Wilson Pickett...Wh a t ' s up
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jodoporto
There will never be another Wilson, he has so much passion and love it shows on every word and growl, I could go on forever.
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I used to manage Buddy Miles and the reason they called him 'Wicked Pickett' is; when there were budget concerns on a tour, he would often 'point' at an in-suspectin g musician which meant that he would be 'fined' for a wrong note etc...even if he didn't really play a wrong note! Pickett and other artists on the 'chitlin circuit' used this money saving tactic, although not as common as Pickett, therefore he was 'wicked'.
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My 1st sock-hop
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Wicked Wilson Pickett ???? he wasn't wicked why did they call him that ?
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Like. Old music
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to perchick.13 you must be 12 you dont know good music when you when hear it ask your mommy.
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lowe4
Duane Allman did session work on Hey Jude, wonder if he's on any of these other songs
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Like old school
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Brings back some good ole memories
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