This week I bring you one of the heavyweights of soul music and one of the artists largely credited with taking the traditional sound of r&b and creating what became known as “soul” music, the one and only “Mr Excitement” – Mr Jackie Wilson.
Now, as much as I’m all about the lesser-known soul & funk artists it’s hard to ignore the contributions made by those pioneers of the black music scene and they surely deserve a tribute as much as anyone else. To that end, it would be easy for me to have featured any one of Mr Wilson’s huge hits from his vast back catalogue (including “Reet Petite”, “I Get The Sweetest Feeling”, “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher”) but those tracks have all been featured extensively on other blogs and radio shows over the years. This selection is one of the lesser-known singles that gets relatively little spins and is still easily purchased for peanuts.
Throughout his career Wilson recorded songs in a vast array of styles including r&b, pop, doo-wop,rock & roll and crooner style easy listening. But by the time of the mid/late 60s he was in full-on soul mode and today’s track is arguably the funkiest of all the records he cut around this time. I could probably detail Wilson’s personal life (both good and bad) but I guess the story of his life would probably be better served as a motion picture rather than condensed into a blog post. Suffice to say, for all his faults Jackie Wilson ranks for me as arguably the most exciting performer in black music (alongside James Brown) with one of the most distinctive voices in music.
So crank up the volume on this one and understand why he was so deserving of the title “Mr Entertainer”