Friday, January 20, 2006

Last of the 1,000 Dances

Soul shouter Wilson Pickett died yesterday. I've played versions of his smash "Mustang Sally" in nearly every bar band I ever joined. It's a universal song, like "Proud Mary". Everybody knew it, all of the girls loved it, anyone could scream it out - but not like Pickett.

He always seemd to be the dirtier, nastier version of Otis Redding to me. His women were a little trashier, his night clubs a little seedier, his music a little coarser. He was the Rolling Stones to Redding's Beatles. Both enjoyed the stellar backing of the Stax house band, and guitar genius Steve Cropper co-wrote "Midnight Hour" with Pickett, as well as "Dock of the Bay" with Redding.

It's sobering to see the great artists of Rock and Soul's Golden Age passing away so rapidly and so young. Guess I'll get out the Stax compilations and toast "Wicked Pickett" goodbye.


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