Wilson Pickett was arguably the greatest male soul screamer of the 1960s and '70s. Well known for his unprecedented string of Soul hits, including "In the Midnight Hour," "Land of 1,000 Dances," and "Mustang Sally," Pickett has sold millions of albums, and tens of millions of singles. A first ballot inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, he collaborated with some of the biggest names in '60s and '70s pop, rock, and soul, recorded for the most renowned labels
in soul and R&B, and was a legendary presence on stage, his performances frequently culminating in stage invasions by frenzied audience members of all colors eager to bask (and dance) in his radiant aura. Equally well known for his personal troubles, his musical brilliance and success - like that of so
many other superstars - Pickett's career was punctuated by violence, drug and alcohol addictions, and fits of erratic and wild behavior.
In In the Midnight Hour, veteran music journalist and biographer Tony Fletcher not only tells the full story of Wilson Pickett's incredible career, and troubled life, but goes beyond the individual anecdotes to illustrate how Pickett's journey - geographic, musical, and cultural - was emblematic of both that of his generation of southern black men, and that of black American music in the second half of the twentieth century. He grew up in Alabama under Jim Crow in '40s where he
experienced the peak of the gospel circuit before moving north to Detroit as part of the Second Great Migration, where he recorded for the nascent Tamla/Motown label. In the 60s he participated in integrated recording sessions for Stax and Atlantic, before moving back to Alabama where he took part in sessions at
Muscle Shoals that made the studios signature sound famous, and at the beginning of the '70s, found himself in Philadelphia where he was instrumental in the birth of the Philly Soul sound. While centered around Wilson Pickett and his music, In the Midnight Hour will also be about the roller-coaster journey he took in his life, the social upheavals that surrounded him, the genre he helped shape along the way, and the pitfalls of the fame that success brought him.
The first biography of one the most famous, influential, and fascinating figures in soul and R&B, In the Midnight Hour will find an eager audience among fans of Wilson Pickett, and soul and R&B music in general, as well as readers interested in the development of black music during the second half of the twentieth century.