Blues News

Wilson Pickett – Video of the Week

Wilson Pickett – Video of the Week

Wilson Pickett, when it comes to this performer, very few singers had the singing capability, screams, smile, and charisma. This performance is absolutely electric, and it’s just Wilson Pickett’s voice and his band on display. This video below shows that he has his stamp of a champ on it. Furthermore, he’s one of the greatest soul shouters that ever lived. 

Wilson Pickett on Letterman

On January 15, 1986, Wilson Pickett is a guest on the Letterman show where he performs “Land of 1,000 Dances. All I’m going to say is that Shaffer and the band are all in 110%! They talk about a hilarious moment when he’s invited to perform at the American Bowl in which Georgia Tech vs Michigan State. Later he discusses how he garners the nickname “Wicked Pickett”.

Muscle Shoals – Hey Jude

While Wilson really doesn’t want to record this song, he finally does because of Duane Allman. With Pickett’s soulful, visceral singing style and Duane’s guitar playing, magic happens on the day that these two icons met. At the time, Allman is a session player that was looking for ways to get his name out into the world. Pickett goes to Muscle Shoals, to record another album at the time. It’s 1968 and he’s meeting up with producers Rick Hall and Tom Dowd. Duane suggests that Pickett record “Hey Jude”.

At first, he really doesn’t want to but when the recording engineers go to lunch Dwayne Allman set up and starts recording the song. And the resulting recording by Skydog and Pickett becomes legendary. Veteran guitarist Eric Clapton was blown away by Skydog’s fretwork, that he went so far as to seek out Dowd to find out who was on the track. Simply poignant! I have to admit that Wilson Pickett completely nails the song. Both versions are great, but the “soulfulness ” that Pickett adds to this gem is incredible. One of the greatest vocalists together with one of the greatest guitarists – doesn’t get any better than this. Check it out.

Besides being 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”, and “Funky Broadway”. 

Keeping the Blues Alive

To learn more or donate to Keeping The Blues Alive, visit our website at

Share this post