Credit: Shutterstock/Wilson Pickett

Soul ain’t nothing but a feeling

Wilson Pickett’s distinctive voice and emotive songwriting cemented him as one of rock and roll’s most recognisable talents. With hits such as Mustang Sally and In the Midnight Hour, his effect on modern music is still felt today.

Born in Prattville, Alabama, Wilson started singing from an early age in gospel choirs in his hometown. At aged 14 he left Alabama to live with his father in Detroit and continued to sing. It was in Detroit that his powerful voice really developed. He would sing in church and on the streets and it wasn’t long before people really started to take notice.

In 1955 he joined a gospel group called The Violinaires and toured with them for four years before making the jump to the secular music world in 1959 with The Falcons. He would steadily gain popularity over the next few years, making the move to solo recordings and in 1965, having joined record label Stax Records, Wilson produced In the Midnight Hour. The track sold over a million copies worldwide, making it his first gold record and propelling him into the limelight.

Wilson would continue to be a noteworthy force in music throughout his career. In 1999 he came back from a hiatus to record It’s Harder Now, an album that saw a massively positive response and netted Wilson the Soul/Blues Male Artist of the Year award by the Blues Foundation.