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Wilson Pickett

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Wilson Pickett (March 18, 1941 – January 19, 2006) was an American R&B and soul singer. Known for his raw, passionate delivery, he was a major figure in the development of Southern soul music.

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 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. The 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.

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