Wilson Pickett was an American singer and songwriter. A major figure in the development of American soul music, Pickett recorded over 50 songs which made the US R&B charts, many of which crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100. Among his best-known hits are "In the Midnight Hour", "Land of 1,000 Dances", "Mustang Sally", "Funky Broadway". Pickett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, in recognition of his impact on songwriting and recording. Pickett was born March 18, 1941 in Prattville and sang in Baptist church choirs, he was the fourth 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, stove wood — and cried for a week. Stayed in the woods, me and my little dog." Pickett left to live with his father in Detroit in 1955. Pickett's forceful, passionate style of singing was developed in the church and on the streets of Detroit, under the influence of recording stars such as Little Richard, whom he referred to as "the architect of rock and roll."In 1955, Pickett joined the Violinaires, a gospel group.
The Violinaires played with another gospel group on concert tour in America. After singing for four years in the popular gospel-harmony group, lured by the success of gospel singers who had moved to the lucrative secular music market, joined the Falcons in 1959. By 1959, Pickett recorded the song "Let Me Be Your Boy" with the Primettes as background singers; the song is the B-side of his 1963 single "My Heart Belongs to You". The Falcons were an early vocal group bringing gospel into a popular context, thus paving the way for soul music; the group featured notable members. Pickett's biggest success with the Falcons was "I Found a Love", co-written by Pickett and featuring his lead vocals. While only a minor hit for the Falcons, it paved the way for Pickett to embark on a solo career. Pickett had a solo hit with a re-recorded two-part version of the song, included on his 1967 album The Sound of Wilson Pickett. Soon after recording "I Found a Love", Pickett cut his first solo recordings, including "I'm Gonna Cry", in collaboration with Don Covay.
Pickett recorded a demo for a song he co-wrote, "If You Need Me", a slow-burning soul ballad featuring a spoken sermon. Pickett sent the demo to a producer at Atlantic Records. Wexler gave it to the label's recording artist Solomon Burke, Atlantic's biggest star at the time. Burke admired Pickett's performance of the song, but his own recording of "If You Need Me" became one of his biggest hits and is considered a soul standard. Pickett was crushed; when Pickett—with a demo tape under his arm—returned to Wexler's studio, Wexler asked whether he was angry about this loss, but denied it saying "It's over". Pickett's version was released on Double L Records and was a moderate hit, peaking at #30 R&B and #64 pop. Pickett's first significant success as a solo artist came with "It's Too Late," an original composition. Entering the charts on July 27, 1963, it peaked at #7 on the R&B chart. Compiling several of Pickett's single releases for Double L, It's Too Late showcased a raw soulful sound that foreshadowed the singer's performances throughout the coming decade.
The single's success persuaded Wexler and Atlantic to buy Pickett's recording contract from Double L in 1964. Pickett's Atlantic career began with the self-produced single, "I'm Gonna Cry". Looking to boost Pickett's chart chances, Atlantic paired him with record producer Bert Berns and established songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. With this team, Pickett recorded "Come Home Baby," a duet with singer Tami Lynn, but this single failed to chart. Pickett's breakthrough came at Stax Records' studio in Memphis, where he recorded his third Atlantic single, "In the Midnight Hour"; this song was Pickett's first big hit, peaking at #1 R&B, #21 pop, #12. It sold over one million copies, was awarded a gold disc; the genesis of "In the Midnight Hour" was a recording session on May 12, 1965, at which Wexler worked out a powerful rhythm track with studio musicians Steve Cropper and Al Jackson of the Stax Records house band, including bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn. Wexler said to Cropper and Jackson, "Why don't you pick up on this thing here?"
He performed a dance step. Cropper explained in an interview that Wexler told them that "this was the way the kids were dancing. We'd been one-beat-accenters with an afterbeat. Pickett recorded three sessions at Stax in May and October 1965, he was joined by keyboardist Isaac Hayes for the October sessions. In addition to "In the Midnight Hour," Pickett's 1965 recordings included the singles "Don't Fight It," "634-5789" and "Ninety-Nine and a Half". All but "634-5789" were original compositions which Pickett co-wrote with Eddie Floyd or Steve Cropper or both. For his next sessions, Pickett did not return to Stax, as the label's owner, Jim Stewart, had decided in December 1965 to b
(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher
" Higher and Higher" is an R&B song written by Gary Jackson and Carl Smith, produced by Carl Davis. It was recorded by Jackie Wilson for his album Higher and Higher, became a Top 10 Pop, number one R&B hit; the backing track was recorded on 6 July 1967 at Columbia's studios in Chicago. Produced by Carl Davis, the session, arranged by Sonny Sanders, featured bassist James Jamerson, drummer Richard "Pistol" Allen, guitarist Robert White, keyboardist Johnny Griffith. According to Carl Davis, the Funk Brothers "used to come over on the weekends from Detroit. They'd load up in the van and come over to Chicago, I would pay'em double scale, I'd pay'em in cash." Two members of Motown's house session singers The Andantes, Jackie Hicks and Marlene Barrow, along with Pat Lewis, performed on the session for "Higher and Higher". Drummer Maurice White played on the recording; the song was written by Chess Records' in-house writers and producers Carl Smith and Raynard Miner, recorded by The Dells for the label, but not released.
Another writer, Gary Jackson, pitched it to Davis at Brunswick. When the singer recorded his vocal track, Davis recalls, Wilson sang the song "like a soul ballad. I said that's wrong. You have to jump and go with the percussion... If he didn't want to sing it that way, I would put my voice on the record and sell millions." After hearing Davis's advice, Wilson cut the lead vocal for "Higher" in a single take. A publishing deal for the song was reached with Brunswick after Chess producer/A&R head, Billy Davis intervened. Writing credits were agreed with Smith, Miner and Billy Davis all named. Davis removed his credit and BMI now lists the song as by the three other writers; the Dells' version appeared on their album, "There Is" for Cadet the same year. Released in August 1967, the song reached number one on the US Billboard R&B chart and, in November, peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 6. Wilson's version rose to nos. 11 &15 upon the UK Singles Chart during 1969 and 1987 respectively. Brunswick Records released an album titled Higher and Higher in November 1967.
Its chart peak was No. 163 and No. 28 The track was ranked No. 246 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. The Dells included the song on their 1968 hit album There Is. In a recorded interview with famed Cleveland/New York Dee-Jay Norm N. Nite, Jackie stated that when he first heard a tape of the song, "a vocal group was singing it"; that group was quite The Dells. In 1970, the song was recorded under the title "Higher and Higher" by Canada Goose, a group from Ottawa, discovered by Jerry Ragovoy; this version, with a shared lead vocal by Barbra Bullard and John Matthews, became a hit in Canada and reached #92 on the Record World 100 Pop Chart. In 2008 the song, still known as "Higher and Higher", charted in Sweden due to Kevin Borg, the eventual winner of season 8 of Idol, performing it in the competition, downloads of Borg's version secured it a #29 ranking. A live version of the song was released by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band on their live album HSBC Arena, Buffalo, NY, 11/22/09.
This version was recorded on November 22, 2009. This was the last show where longtime E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons performed with the band before his death. Rita Coolidge remade the song as " Higher and Higher" for her album Anytime... Anywhere, her version has a more moderate tempo than that of the uptempo original, omits the chorus, evidenced only in the background vocals sung under the repetition of the first verse with which she closes the song. Coolidge and her sister Priscilla Coolidge had sung background on a version of the song for a prospective album by Priscilla's husband Booker T. Jones. Released as a single, Coolidge's version became her first major hit in nine years of recording: the track peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was kept from the No. 1 spot by "Best of My Love" by The Emotions. Cash Box ranked it at No. 1. "Higher and Higher" reached No. 1 in Canada. Both the song and a subsequent release, "We're All Alone", earned Coolidge gold records for each selling a million copies.
In the UK it was released. 6, but it only achieved a peak of No. 48 there
Tell It Like It Is (song)
"Tell It Like It Is" is a song written by George Davis and Lee Diamond and recorded and released in 1966 by Aaron Neville. In 2010, the song was ranked No. 391 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 1966, Aaron Neville recorded and released the original version of "Tell It Like It Is" on his album entitled Tell It Like It Is. In November 1966, the track was issued as a single which peaked in early 1967 at No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The personnel on the original recording included George Davis arranging and playing Baritone Sax, Emory Humphrey-Thompson on trumpet, Deacon John on guitar, Alvin Red Tyler on tenor sax, Willie Tee on piano and June Gardner on drums. Heart covered "Tell It Like It Is" in 1980, it was a studio recording, however, it was included on their Greatest Hits/Live LP. It was the first of two singles released from the LP, the other one a live recording but both of them cover hits; the song peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 during the winter of 1981 and became their highest-charting single in the United States to that point.
It did better in Canada. Hannusch, Jeff. "Classic Songs of Louisiana: Aaron Neville's "Tell It Like It Is" - OffBeat Magazine". Offbeat.com. Retrieved 2016-09-29. Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics In 1963, "Tell It Like It Is" was recorded by Little Joe and the Latinaires; the album was named "Unbeatable"
"Jimmy Mack" is a pop/soul song that in 1967 became a hit single by Martha and the Vandellas for Motown's Gordy imprint. Written and produced by Motown's main creative team, Holland–Dozier–Holland, "Jimmy Mack" was the final Top 10 hit for the Vandellas in the United States, peaking at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967 and at number-one on the Billboard R&B Singles chart. Billboard named the song #82 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time; the song, with a lead vocal by the Vandellas' lead singer Martha Reeves in the 1967 version, is sung from the point of view of a woman who longs for the return of boyfriend "Jimmy Mack". The woman is being courted by another suitor, who she says "talks just as sweet as" her long-gone Jimmy, she hopes for Jimmy to return before she falls for the other man; the inspiration for the song came from a 1964 music industry awards dinner, which Lamont Dozier attended. At the ceremony the mother of songwriter Ronnie Mack accepted an award for her son, who had died, for his composition "He's So Fine".
Under pressure to come up with a hit for Reeves and the Vandellas and the team penned this song in part as a tribute to Mack the writer."Jimmy Mack" was recorded in 1964 when Annette Beard was still a part of the group. The song was shelved because the Motown Quality Control team felt the recording was not suitable for release with the Vietnam War going on. Like Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' hit, "The Tears of a Clown", "Jimmy Mack" was pulled from the vault two years and released as a single in early 1967. By that time, the Vietnam War had become a debated issue among the American public. Thus, Reeves' sentiment that her "Jimmy Mack" return took on a different meaning for many listeners those stationed overseas."Jimmy Mack" was a success, peaking at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming the second and final Vandellas single to top the Billboard R&B chart. "Jimmy Mack" was a hit in Britain reaching number 21. The song had been included on the Vandellas' LP Watchout!, issued a month before the single release.
For nearly forty years, "Jimmy Mack" was presented in either monaural sound or in a mix culled from an alternate take. A true stereo mix of the original single master was not done until 2005, for The Motown Box appearing in 2006 on the compilation Martha & the Vandellas: Gold. Lead vocals by Martha Reeves Background vocals by Rosalind Ashford and Annette Beard Additional background vocals by The Andantes: Marlene Barrow, Jackie Hicks and Louvain Demps Instrumentation by The Funk Brothers Sheena Easton's remake of "Jimmy Mack" was issued as the second single from her 1985 Do You album to peak at #65. Animal Collective covered the song for their The Painters EP. Bonnie Pointer covered the song for her second solo album. R&B number-one hits of 1967
Baby I Love You (Aretha Franklin song)
"Baby I Love You" is a popular song by R&B singer Aretha Franklin. The only single release from her Aretha Arrives album in 1967, the song was a huge hit, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart and spending two weeks at number-one on the Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles chart, it was featured in Martin Scorsese's 1990 film Goodfellas. A live recording featured on the album Aretha in Paris. There have been several other famous musicians who have covered Aretha Franklin's "Baby I Love You", such as Lisa Marie Presley in 1989, Donny Hathaway, Roberta Flack in 1972, B. B. King, The Bar-Kays in 1971, Erma Franklin in 1969, Irma Thomas in 1988, Otis Rush in 1969 and various other musicians. In 2012, Christine Anu covered the song on Rewind: The Aretha Franklin Songbook. Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
"Respect" is a song written and released by American recording artist Otis Redding in 1965. The song became a 1967 signature song for soul singer Aretha Franklin; the music in the two versions is different, through a few changes in the lyrics, the stories told by the songs have a different flavor. Redding's version is a plea from a desperate man, he won't care. However, Franklin's version is a declaration from a strong, confident woman, who knows that she has everything her man wants, she never does him wrong, demands his "respect". Franklin's version adds the "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" chorus and the backup singers' refrain of "Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me...". Franklin's cover was a landmark for the feminist movement, is considered one of the best songs of the R&B era, earning her two Grammy Awards in 1968 for "Best Rhythm & Blues Recording" and "Best Rhythm & Blues Solo Vocal Performance, Female", was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2002, the Library of Congress honored Franklin's version by adding it to the National Recording Registry.
It was placed number five on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". It was included in the list of "Songs of the Century", by the Recording Industry of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. Franklin included a live recording on the album Aretha in Paris. At first a ballad, "Respect" was written by Redding for Speedo Sims, who intended to record it with his band, the Singing Demons. Redding sped up the rhythm. Speedo went with the band to the Muscle Shoals studios, but was unable to produce a good version. Redding decided to sing the song himself, which Speedo agreed to. Redding promised to credit Speedo on the liner notes, but this never happened; the song was included on Otis Blue. The album became successful outside of his R&B and blues fan base; when released in the summer of 1965, the song reached the top five on Billboard's Black Singles Chart, crossed over to pop radio's white audience, peaking at number thirty-five there. At the time, the song became Redding's second largest crossover hit and paved the way to future presence on American radio.
Redding performed it at the Monterey Pop Festival. The two versions of "Respect," as written and recorded by Otis Redding and as re-imagined by Aretha Franklin, are different. While both songs have similar styles and tempos the writers and performers of the lyrics had two different messages in mind; the songs differ lyrically in the refrains, the verses have a different slant."Redding’s version is characteristically funky, with his raspy-soulful singing and electric vocal charisma front and center." His song utilizes "playful horns and sexy, mock-beleaguered vocals" to deliver lyrics without any subtext. The message of a man demanding respect from his woman for being the breadwinner is decisively clear. Redding's version was written from the perspective of a hardworking man who can only look forward to getting home and receiving the respect he deserves from his family, his version is less a plea for respect and more a comment on a man's feeling of worth in his work life and at home. He mentions that he’s "about to, just give you all of my money", that all he wants in return is respect.
The woman he is singing to can “do me wrong, honey, if you wanna to/You can do me wrong honey, while I'm gone." The lyrics are straightforward throughout the song. The original version of "Respect" was produced by Steve Cropper, who played instrumentals for the hit track along with William Bell and Earl Sims on backup vocals; the inspiration for the song had come when, in response to Redding's complaints after a hard tour, MGs drummer Al Jackson said: "What are you griping about? You're on the road all the time. All you can look for is a little respect when you come home."Producer Jerry Wexler booked Franklin for a series of recording dates in January–February 1967, starting with "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You", recorded in Alabama at FAME Studios by engineer Tom Dowd. After an altercation between the studio owner and Franklin's husband and manager, Ted White, the sessions continued ten days in New York without White, recording "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man", using the same engineer and the same Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section musicians as in Alabama.
The next week the group recorded "Respect", which Franklin had been performing in her live shows for a few years. Her version of the song flipped the gender of the lyrics, as worked out by Franklin with her sisters Erma and Carolyn. Franklin instructed the rhythm section how to perform her established arrangement of the "stop-and-stutter" syncopation, in the studio she worked out new parts for the backing singers. "Respect" was recorded on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1967. The repeated "sock it to me" line, sung by Franklin's sisters, was an idea that Carolyn and Aretha had worked out together; the phrase "Sock it to me" became a household expression. In an interview with WHYY's Fresh Air in 1999, Aretha said, "Some of the girls were saying that to the fellas, like'sock it to me' in this way or'sock it to me' in that way. It's not sexual, it was nonsexual, just a cliché line."In the bridge, King Curtis' tenor saxophone soloed over the chords from Sam and Dave's song "When Something Is Wrong
The Supremes were an American female singing group and the premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s. Founded as The Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, the Supremes were the most commercially successful of Motown's acts and are, to date, America's most successful vocal group with 12 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. Most of these hits were written and produced by Motown's main songwriting and production team, Holland–Dozier–Holland. At their peak in the mid-1960s, the Supremes rivaled the Beatles in worldwide popularity, it is said that their success made it possible for future African American R&B and soul musicians to find mainstream success. Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross, Betty McGlown, the original group, are all from the Brewster-Douglass public housing project in Detroit, they formed the Primettes as the sister act to the Primes. Barbara Martin replaced McGlown in 1960, the group signed with Motown the following year as the Supremes. Martin left the act in early 1962, Ross and Wilson carried on as a trio.
During the mid-1960s, the Supremes achieved mainstream success with Ross as lead singer and Holland-Dozier-Holland as its songwriting and production team. In 1967, Motown president Berry Gordy renamed the group Diana Ross & the Supremes, replaced Ballard with Cindy Birdsong. Ross left to pursue a solo career in 1970 and was replaced by Jean Terrell, so the group's name reverted to The Supremes. During the mid-1970s, the lineup changed with Lynda Laurence, Scherrie Payne and Susaye Greene joining the group until, after 18 years, The Supremes disbanded in 1977. In Detroit in 1958, Florence Ballard, a junior high school student living in the Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects, met Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks, who were two members of a Detroit singing group known as the Primes. Ballard sang, as did Paul Williams' girlfriend Betty McGlown, so Milton Jenkins, the Primes's manager, decided to create a sister group to be called the Primettes. Ballard recruited her best friend Mary Wilson. Mentored and funded by Jenkins, the Primettes began by performing hit songs of artists such as Ray Charles and the Drifters at sock hops, social clubs and talent shows around the Detroit area.
Receiving additional guidance from group friend and established songwriter Jesse Greer, the quartet earned a local fan following. The girls crafted an age-appropriate style, inspired by the collegiate dress of popular doo-wop group Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers. Within a few months, guitarist Marvin Tarplin was added to the Primettes' lineup— a move that helped distinguish the group from Detroit's many other aspiring acts by allowing the girls to sing live instead of lip-synching. After winning a prestigious local talent contest, the Primettes' sights were set on making a record. In hopes of getting the group signed to the local upstart Motown label, in 1960 Ross asked an old neighbor, Miracles lead singer Smokey Robinson, to help the group land an audition for Motown executive Berry Gordy, who had proven himself a capable songwriter. Robinson liked "the girls" and agreed to help, but he liked their guitarist more. Robinson arranged for the Primettes to audition a cappella for Gordy—but Gordy, feeling the girls too young and inexperienced to be recording artists, encouraged them to return when they had graduated from high school.
Undaunted that year the Primettes recorded a single for Lu Pine Records, a label created just for them, titled "Tears of Sorrow", backed with "Pretty Baby". The single failed to find an audience, however. Shortly thereafter, McGlown became left the group. Local girl Barbara Martin was McGlown's prompt replacement. Determined to leave an impression on Gordy and join the stable of rising Motown stars, the Primettes frequented his Hitsville U. S. A. recording studio every day after school. They convinced Gordy to allow them to contribute hand claps and background vocals for the songs of other Motown artists including Marvin Gaye and Mary Wells. In January 1961, Gordy relented and agreed to sign the girls to his label – but under the condition that they change the name of their group; the Primes had by this time combined with Otis Williams & the Distants and would soon sign to Motown as the Temptations. Gordy gave Ballard a list of names to choose from that included suggestions such as "the Darleens", "the Sweet Ps", "the Melodees", "the Royaltones" and "the Jewelettes".
Ballard chose "the Supremes", a name that Ross disliked as she felt it too masculine. On January 15 the group signed with Motown as the Supremes. In the spring of 1962, Martin left the group to start a family. Thus, the newly named Supremes continued as a trio. Between 1961 and 1963, the Supremes released six singles, none of which charted in the Top 40 positions of the Billboard Hot 100. Jokingly referred to as the "no-hit Supremes" around Motown's Hitsville U. S. A. offices, the group attempted to compensate for their lack of hits by taking on any work available at the studio, including providing hand claps and singing backup for Motown artists such as Marvin Gaye and the Temptations. During these years, all three members took turns singing lead: Wilson favored soft ballads, Ballard favored soulful, hard-driving songs, Ross favored mainstream pop songs. Most of their early material was produced by Berry Gordy or Smokey Robinson. In December 1963, the single "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes" peaked at number 2