Memorial: Soul Legend Wilson Pickett Dies

Rolling Stone : Soul Legend Wilson Pickett Dies

Wilson Pickett

Legendary singer succumbs to heart attack at sixty-four

Legendary soul singer Wilson Pickett died of a heart attack today in Virginia at the age of sixty-four.
The singer, who earned the nickname “Wicked Pickett” due to his fiery vocals and masculine persona, was best known for such high-energy soul hits as “In the Midnight Hour,” “Mustang Sally” and “Land of 1000 Dances.” As a performer and interpreter, Pickett was generally considered to be the equal of such great soul men as Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

Born in Prattville, Alabama, on March 18, 1941, Pickett honed his vocal style singing gospel in Southern Baptist churches. After moving to Detroit in the late 1950s, Pickett joined the Falcons, whose membership also included such future soul stars as Eddie Floyd and Sir Mack Rice. He sang lead vocals on “I Found a Love,” a gospel-tinged ballad that became a national hit in 1962, and left shortly thereafter to go solo.

In 1965, Pickett signed with Atlantic Records. His stint with that label marked the commercial apex of his career; backed by guitarist Steve Cropper and some of the top session musicians from Muscle Shoals and Memphis, the singer recorded more than thirty R&B hits, including “634-5789,” “Land of 1000 Dances,” “Mustang Sally,” “Funky Broadway,” “In the Midnight Hour” and even a surprisingly soulful cover of the Archies’ “Sugar, Sugar”.

Pickett fared less successfully after leaving Atlantic in 1972, but he continued to perform until 2005, when health problems forced him off the road. His most recent album, 1999’s It’s Harder Now, received rave reviews, three WC Handy Awards — including Best Soul/Blues Male Artist of the Year — and a Grammy nomination.

In December 2004, “Mustang Sally” and “In the Midnight Hour” were included in Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

Pickett is survived by his fiancee Gail Webb, sons Lynderrick and Michael, daughters Veda and Saphan, as well as an extended family of brothers and sisters.


Posted Jan 19, 2006 12:00 AM

©RealNetworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

©Copyright 2006 Rolling Stone

Posted in Wilson Pickett and tagged , , , by with no comments yet.

About: Wilson Pickett

Wilson Pickett\'s Greatest Hits

Click on the link for more information ..

Wilson Pickett (March 18, 1941 – January 19, 2006) was an American R&B and soul singer.

Pickett was born in Prattville, Alabama, and grew up singing in Baptist church choirs.

He was the youngest of 11 children and called his mother “the baddest woman in my book,” telling historian Gerri Hirshey “I get scared of her now. She used to hit me with anything, skillets, stove wood–(one time I ran away and) cried for a week. Stayed in the woods, me and my little dog.” Pickett eventually left to live with his father in Detroit.

Pickett began his musical career with The Falcons in the early 1959. In 1964, he signed as a solo artist with Atlantic Records and recorded “In the Midnight Hour” (1965), perhaps his best-remembered hit.

The genesis of “In the Midnight Hour” was a recording session on May 12, 1965 in which producer Jerry Wexler approached studio musicians Steve Cropper and Al Jackson (from Stax Records house band Booker T. and the M.G.’s) and said, “Why don’t you pick up on this thing here?” He performed a dance step. Cropper later explained in an interview that Wexler told them that “this was the way the kids were dancing; they were putting the accent on two. Basically, we’d been one-beat-accenters with an afterbeat; it was like ‘boom dah,’ but here this was a thing that went ‘um-chaw,’ just the reverse as far as the accent goes.” The song that resulted from this encounter established Pickett as a star and also gave Stax Records, for which Pickett recorded, a bona fide hit.

“Mustang Sally” and “Funky Broadway” followed, though Pickett’s biggest pop hit was “Land of 1000 Dances”. By the early 1970s, Pickett had released several more hits, including a cover of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” and a cover of “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies. His last hit song was “Fire and Water” in 1972.

Pickett was also a popular songwriter, with songs he wrote recorded by such artists as Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, the Grateful Dead, Booker T. and the MGs, Genesis, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Hootie & the Blowfish, Echo & The Bunnymen, Roxy Music, Bruce Springsteen, Los Lobos, The Jam, Ani DiFranco, and more. …. continued …..

Other sites found around the ‘Net

Posted in Wilson Pickett and tagged , , , by with no comments yet.