On this day in Alabama history: Singer Wilson Pickett died

On this day in Alabama history: Singer Wilson Pickett died
Known as "The Wicked Pickett" for his wild ways, Wilson Pickett's fame grew in the 1970s, and he performed alongside such acts as James Brown and Bruce Springsteen. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Alabama Music Hall of Fame)

January 19, 2006

Wilson Pickett was born in Prattville on March 18, 1941 and was one of 11 children who worked on the cotton farm of his sharecropper parents. In 1955, Pickett moved with his father to Detroit to escape his violent mother, and soon began his music career with a gospel quartet called the Violinaires. In the 1960s, Pickett’s voice and style found a fan in Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler, who decided to record him at Stax Records studios in Memphis. In 1965, Pickett recorded a series of singles that defined his “hard soul” sound, including “In the Midnight Hour” and “634-5789.” In 1966, Wexler wanted Pickett to record in Muscle Shoals at FAME Studios, which produced hits for him such as “Land of a Thousand Dances” and “Mustang Sally.” Pickett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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