First off, thoughts out to John Atterberry and his family and friends. He was shot by the wacko who was running around Sunset and Vine last week. Just read that he passed away.
Life can be so random, so senseless at times… And you never know what can happen. There you are minding your own business… in your car and boom! It changes in the blink of an eye, the blast of a gun… a mental breakdown.
It is easy to say live your life… To not waste a single moment. It is easy to say leave no stone unturned… no dream unfulfilled. It is much harder to actually follow through, but things like this remind us that we have to… We absolutely have to.
It has been pouring all day and it’s nippy… Not East Coast or Chicago cold… but California cold. Hey, I have had ice on my windshield in the mornings. It can get cold up here.
Somewhat ironically it has been warmer back East than here as of late… That will change. But in the meantime I need some hot chocolate kind of music. Something that feels like a warm mug in my hand… Something that will warm my fingers and my lap and… well… yes… my soul.
Wilson Pickett – The Very Best of Wilson Pickett
This is like the first plate you take at the all you can eat buffet. You have all of your favorites, but you know you want to go back for more… lots more.
American soul music owes a lot to Wilson Pickett. So does Rock. In 1991 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His distinct sound came from the streets and churches of Detroit… his voice is instantly recognizable… That rasp… that wail… Mmm…
This collection starts with the song that put him on the map… or took him off it and put him in the stratosphere…
Recorded in the famed Stax Records’ studio in Memphis, Tennessee “In the Midnight Hour” became Pickett’s first major hit. Some of the historic studio musicians included Steve Cropper and Donald “Duck” Dunn, who would go on to play with the Blues Brothers… and at the time played in a little band called Booker T. & the MG’s.
“Land of 1000 Dances”, “Mustang Sally”, “Funky Broadway”, “634-5789” and “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” are absolute classics and some of my favorite songs ever. Just try listening to them without moving or smiling… impossible.
I would also highly recommend the great film The Commitments, which kind of revolves around Pickett’s music and refers to him as this mythic and never seen character. The band dreams of being the next great R& B group but eventually implodes as too many bands do.
Pickett had a lot of issues with drugs and booze and had his fair share of troubles, including quite a few in the sleepy Jersey town of Englewood. He died of a heart attack at age 64… So the story is not the warm, fuzzy fairy tale that warms your heart… But the music does. It moves your heart, literally, and makes it beat a bit faster… but always in perfect rhythm.