Wilson Pickett was born in 1941, in Prattville, Alabama and the fourth of 11 children. The family moved to Detroit in his mid teens and he sang in several Baptist church choirs. His forceful, passionate style of singing was developed between the sacred and the secular whist singing on the streets with the other kids. Wilson was a wild child with a fascination for guns but his love of singing kept him grounded. In 1955 he joined the Violinaires and sang gospel-harmony for four years. In 1959 he became lead singer of the Falcons, singing soul. The line-up of the group included Eddie Floyd (Knock on wood), Joe Stubbs (brother of Levi Stubbs) and songwriter, Mack Rice (Mustang Sally and Respect yourself).
From the first Motown tour in 1965 to Public Enemy in the mid-80s and today's cutting edge hip hop acts, white British audiences have always been very receptive to the music of black America and 1967's Stax-Volt Revue was no different. I was barely nine months old when Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd, Arthur Conley, The Mar-Keys and, of course, Booker T & the MG's got on a bus and ripped it up, cementing their reputation as the cream of the sixties soul crop.