- First broadcast 20120312
The Wicked Pickett - The Life And Times Of Wilson Pickett
|Roger Daltrey, lead singer of The Who and a Wilson Pickett fan, tells the story of soul legend.|
Contributors include Wilson's brother Max; his ex-partner Dovie Hall; and soul stars like Bobby Womack and Eddie Floyd, who experienced the exceptional singing talent first hand; as well as the wild side, which earned him the nickname "The Wicked Pickett".
Pickett died in 2006, aged 64, but he left a legacy of classic hits like Mustang Sally, The Land of 1,000 Dances, and In The Midnight Hour. He was determined to be a singing star from an early age and his brother Max remembers how Wilson would always be getting into fights, whilst also singing gospel in church.
After a move to Detroit, The Falcons' Willie Schofield remembers hearing the young Wilson Pickett singing in the street, and convincing the rest of The Falcons to let him join, giving the band a new sound and success in 1962, with Wilson's own song I Found The Love.
Wilson then moved on to a solo career and, after a shaky start, guitarist and songwriter Steve Cropper remembers the Memphis studio recording of Wilson's signature song, In The Midnight Hour. Producer Rick Hall from Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals also explains how the Mustang Sally recording nearly ended in disaster, after the tape spool spun off the reel, and they had to meticulously edit the tiny pieces of tape back together.
We hear how Wilson had a problem with British R&B acts like the Rolling Stones and in particular Tom Jones, who had undoubtedly been influenced by Wilson and other soul singers of the time, and then seemed to come over to America and steal his thunder. We hear about the time Pickett threatened to shoot The Isley Brothers, how he injured his eye during a fight, and became more and more dependent on cocaine and alcohol, as the hits dried up.
His last album, It's Harder Now, saw the return of the old Pickett magic, and producer Jon Tiven describes his method of recording the softer side of the soul singer. Listeners get a glimpse of the man behind the public persona as he recovers from drugs and drink and puts his wild years behind him. But even those close to him didn't know he was dying.
Little Richard spoke fondly of his friend at Wilson's funeral and those who loved him, and were influenced by him, sum up the "Wicked One's" legacy.
Roger Daltrey, lead singer of The Who and a Wilson Pickett fan, profiles a soul legend.