Wilson Pickett (1941-2006)

People have no idea how influential this guy was. His music is everywhere and for whatever reason people don’t connect with his name the way they do with, say, Otis Redding. Everytime I talk about Wilson Pickett to someone, they say they’re not sure who he is until I start listing the hits: “In the Midnight Hour,” “Mustang Sally” (much dreaded by cover bands for its status as the most requested song of all time), “Land of 1,000 Dances” (which I have to hum before people remember it[1]), “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” (you heard that one in the Blues Brothers, remember?), “634-5789” (20 years before Jenny’s “867-5309” came around).

The man was a soul giant. We have lost an important part of pop music history.

This one’s for you, Mr. Pickett:
Land of 1,000 Dances (right click and save as)

1.) The hook to which was shamelessly stolen by Ini Kamoze for his 1995 hit “Here Comes the Hotstepper” from the soundtrack to Robert Altman’s Pret-a-Porter. He called himself “the lyrical gangsta,” which of course Heath turned into “the lyrical hamster.”