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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

x

Track List: The Soul Of Wilson Pickett

1. If You Need Me

2. I'm Gonna Love You

3. Baby Don't Weep

4. Peace Breaker

5. Down To My Last Heartbreak

6. Robert's Monkey Beat

7. I Can't Stop

8. I'll Never Be The Same

9. Baby Call On Me

10. Give Your Lovin' Right Now

11. It's Too Late

x

Track List: If You Need Me

1. If You Need Me

2. I'm Gonna Love You

3. Baby Don't Weep

4. Peace Breaker

5. I'm Down To My Last Heartbreak

7. I Can't Stop

8. I'll Never Be The Same

9. Baby Call On Me

10. Give Your Lovin' Right Now

11. It's Too Late

x

Track List: The Very Best Of Wilson Pickett

1. In The Midnight Hour

2. 634-5789 (Soulsvuille, U.S.A.)

3. Land Of 1000 Dances

4. Mustang Sally

5. Funky Broadway

6. I'm In Love

7. She's Lookin' Good

8. Hey Jude

9. Sugar Sugar

10. Engine Number 9

11. Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You

12. Don't Knock My Love - Pt. 1

13. Fire And Water

14. I'm A Midnight Mover

15. I Found Love - Pt. 1

16. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love

x

Track List: A Man And A Half

Disc 1

1. I Found A Love

2. Let Me Be Your Boy

3. If You Need Me

4. It's Too Late

5. I'm Gonna Cry

6. Come Home Baby

7. In The Midnight Hour

8. Don't Fight It

9. I'm Not Tired

10. That's A Man's Way

11. 634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.)

12. Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do)

13. Land Of 1000 Dances

14. Mustang Sally

15. Three-Time Loser

16. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love

17. Soul Dance Number Three

18. You Can't Stand Alone

19. Funky Broadway

20. I'm In Love

21. Stagger Lee

22. Jealous Love

23. I've Come A Long Way

Disc 2

1. I'm A Midnight Mover

2. I Found A True Love

4. A Man And A Half

5. Hey Jude

6. Mini-Skirt Minnie

7. Toe Hold

8. Hey Joe

9. You Keep Me Hangin' On

10. She Said Yes

11. Cole, Cooke & Redding

12. Sugar Sugar

14. Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You

15. Don't Knock My Love - Pt. I

16. Call My Name, I'll Be There

17. Fire And Water

18. (Your Love Has Brought Me) A Mighty Long Way

19. Funk Factory

x

Track List: I'm In Love

1. Jealous Love

2. Stagger Lee

3. That Kind Of Love

4. I'm In Love

5. Hello Sunshine

6. Don't Cry No More

7. We've Got To Have Love

8. Bring It On Home To Me

9. She's Lookin' Good

10. I've Come A Long Way

x

Track List: The Midnight Mover

1. I'm The Midnight Mover

2. It's A Groove

3. Remember, I Been Good To You

4. I'm Gonna Cry

5. Deborah

6. I Found A True Love

7. Down By The Sea

8. Trust Me

9. Let's Get An Understanding

10. For Better Or Worse

x

Track List: The Sound Of Wilson Pickett

1. Soul Dance Number Three

2. Funky Broadway

3. I Need A Lot Of Loving Every Day

4. I Found A Love Part I

5. I Found A Love Part II

6. You Can't Stand Alone

7. Mojo Mamma

8. I Found The One

9. Something Within Me

10. I'm Sorry About That

11. Love Is A Beautiful Thing

x

Track List: The Wicked Pickett

1. Mustang Sally

2. New Orleans

3. Sunny

4. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love

5. Ooh Poo Pah Doo

6. She Ain't Gonna Do Right

7. Knock On Wood

8. Time Is On My Side

9. Up Tight Good Woman

10. You Left The Water Running

11. Three Time Loser

12. Nothing You Can Do

x

Track List: The Exciting Wilson Pickett

1. Land Of 1000 Dances

2. Something You Got

3. 634-5789

4. Barefootin'

5. Mercy, Mercy

6. You're So Fine

7. In The Midnight Hour

8. Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do)

9. Danger Zone

10. I'm Drifting

11. It's All Over

12. She's So Good To Me

x

Track List: In The Midnight Hour

1. In The Midnight Hour

2. Teardrops Will Fall

3. Take A Little Love

4. For Better Or Worse

5. I Found A Love

6. That's A Man's Way

7. I'm Gonna Cry

8. Don't Fight It

9. Take This Love I've Got

10. Come Home Baby

11. I'm Not Tired

12. Let's Kiss And Make Up

x

Track List: Hey Jude

1. Save Me

2. Hey Jude

3. Back In Your Arms

4. Toe Hold

5. Night Owl

6. My Own Style Of Loving

7. A Man And A Half

8. Sit Down And Talk This Over

9. Search Your Heart

10. Born To Be Wild

11. Poeple Make The World

Comments

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I grew up listening to Wilson Picket! Wilson could rock a song! He was amazing! Midnight Hour and Don't Knock My Love are my favorites!
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One of the great soulful talents of rhythm and blues.
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vougecosmo
Brass Tax
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Thank you for keeping it real, Pandora with my oldies but goodies. See that was when you understood what to say to a woman. That's real baby making music. Way to go baby boomer.����
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I love Wilson Pickett music
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The one and only Wicked Mr Pickett. One of my favorite songs by him.
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Summer time
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I've heard land of 1000 dances from Forrest Gump
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She's my girl
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Would it be uncharitable for me to say that the bios on this web page have an authentic written by a robot vibe?
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env07508
Pickets hey Jude with Duane Allman rules
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rjbolich8
Hi
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wicked pickett!
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Takes me to the old times
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A great song with a great beat
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I really love the brass section... adds flavor to an already great singer.....
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Love the lyrics of the Man and a Half........ . a n d this man is just that .........tha n k s Pandora....
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j_jack28
Hell yeah Alabama all day (War f**kin Eagles )
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Who has got more soul that Wicked Pickett?!!!
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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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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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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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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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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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