In the Midnight Hour: The Life & Soul of Wilson Pickett

In the Midnight Hour: The Life & Soul of Wilson Pickett

Wilson Pickett was arguably the greatest male soul screamer of the 1960s and '70s. With a career spanning half a century, he sold millions of albums and tens of millions of singles, leaving a legacy of unforgettable hits, including "In the Midnight Hour," "Land of 1000 Dances," and "Mustang Sally." A first ballot inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Pickett coll...

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Title:In the Midnight Hour: The Life & Soul of Wilson Pickett
Author:Tony Fletcher
Rating:
ISBN:0190252944
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:328 pages

In the Midnight Hour: The Life & Soul of Wilson Pickett Reviews

  • Scott Nickels
    Jul 13, 2016

    In The Midnight Hour

    I am ever so grateful for the opportunity to read books that I either would not take a chance on reading or would choose not to read due to the price of the book. Well, Net Galley came through for me as a great big fan of Motown and Memphis and Muscle Shoals, AL black rock and soul and a chance to read "In The Midnight Hour" a biography about one of the greats -- Wilson Pickett!

    Known by his nickname "Wicked Pickett" he co-wrote or wrote many of the songs he recorded including

    In The Midnight Hour

    I am ever so grateful for the opportunity to read books that I either would not take a chance on reading or would choose not to read due to the price of the book. Well, Net Galley came through for me as a great big fan of Motown and Memphis and Muscle Shoals, AL black rock and soul and a chance to read "In The Midnight Hour" a biography about one of the greats -- Wilson Pickett!

    Known by his nickname "Wicked Pickett" he co-wrote or wrote many of the songs he recorded including all-time greats "Mustang Sally" and "In The Midnight Hour." Pickett had a number of popular additional songs mainly produced in the 1960's and 1970's and he continued to record, with lesser success, all the way up to his death early into the 21st Century.

    The book is well- written: it traces the hits, the misses, the struggles, the successes, and the personal travails that correspond to too much success, perhaps not enough success, and the typical ennui of a popular recording stars life. If the last sentence seems rather pedestrian so does the life and times of Wilson Pickett. One can almost predict that Pickett was known as known as prickly, distant, with an oftentimes explosive personality. Then came the drinking problems and...well, you can predict his gently declining stardom towards his death from a heart attack in 2006.

    Do not misunderstand: I enjoyed the authors style and substance. The book is well written and I know a lot more about the life of Wilson Pickett. I was hoping to find more outstanding revelations about the man and his music. What I found was almost exactly what I predicted in my mind I would learn.

  • Bonnye Reed
    Aug 01, 2016

    GNab I received a free electronic copy of this biography from Netgalley, Tony Fletcher, and Oxford University Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all for sharing your work with me.

    Wilson Pickett played an important roll in a LOT of the lives of we baby boomers around the world. He gave us a love of music - soul, blues, gospel, rock and roll - that we would not have been nearly so exposed to without his heartfelt music and lyrics, and his willingness to devote his life to singing hi

    GNab I received a free electronic copy of this biography from Netgalley, Tony Fletcher, and Oxford University Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all for sharing your work with me.

    Wilson Pickett played an important roll in a LOT of the lives of we baby boomers around the world. He gave us a love of music - soul, blues, gospel, rock and roll - that we would not have been nearly so exposed to without his heartfelt music and lyrics, and his willingness to devote his life to singing his songs. This biography shares with us the ups and downs of that 64 years. Along with too many of his contemporaries, his lifestyle took him much too soon - but what a legacy. Thank you Tony Fletcher, for bringing his life back around, and letting us understand the price he and his loved ones paid, living with that genius.

    Pub date Jan 2, 2017

  • Louise Wilson
    Dec 11, 2016

    Wilson Pickett was one of the greatest soul singers. He had a string of hits including In The Midnight Hour & Mustang Sally. He also collaborated with some of the biggest names in the 60's & 70's.

    This is the first biography of this legendary singer and his extraordinary career.

    I liked this insight into the life of Wilson Pickett whose career lasted over 25 years.

    I would like to thank NetGalley, Oxford University Press and the author Tony Fletcher for my ARC in exchange for an honest revi

    Wilson Pickett was one of the greatest soul singers. He had a string of hits including In The Midnight Hour & Mustang Sally. He also collaborated with some of the biggest names in the 60's & 70's.

    This is the first biography of this legendary singer and his extraordinary career.

    I liked this insight into the life of Wilson Pickett whose career lasted over 25 years.

    I would like to thank NetGalley, Oxford University Press and the author Tony Fletcher for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Wyldrabbit
    Sep 28, 2016

    Excellent Read! I enjoyed this book and the history of a man who made my life so much more with his words and his voice.

    Wilson Pickett was arguably the greatest male soul screamer of the 1960s and '70s. With a career spanning half a century, he sold millions of albums and tens of millions of singles, leaving a legacy of unforgettable hits, including "In the Midnight Hour," "Land of 1000 Dances," and "Mustang Sally." A first ballot inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Pickett collabor

    Excellent Read! I enjoyed this book and the history of a man who made my life so much more with his words and his voice.

    Wilson Pickett was arguably the greatest male soul screamer of the 1960s and '70s. With a career spanning half a century, he sold millions of albums and tens of millions of singles, leaving a legacy of unforgettable hits, including "In the Midnight Hour," "Land of 1000 Dances," and "Mustang Sally." A first ballot inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Pickett collaborated with some of the biggest names in '60s and '70s pop, rock, and soul, and his passionate stage performances frequently garnered invasions by frenzied audience members of all colors eager to bask-and dance-in his radiant aura. A musician of rare instinct with an unmistakable intensity and charisma, the 'Wicked' Pickett was for many the living embodiment of soul.

    In the first biography of this legendary artist, veteran music journalist Tony Fletcher goes far beyond anecdote, weaving the turns of Pickett's extraordinary career into the larger story of black American music in the late 20th Century. As Fletcher shows, from his childhood in the gospel-rich cotton fields of Alabama to his early career in pre-Motown Detroit and long tenure at Atlantic Records, Wilson Pickett always positioned himself at the cutting edge of rhythm 'n' blues and soul. By the time he was thirty, Pickett had five #1 R&B hits, rubbed shoulders with the likes of James Brown, Otis Redding and the Who, and traveled to Ghana with Ike and Tina Turner, Santana and others to headline the first American popular music package to visit the continent. As with so many artists of his generation, the price of superstardom was a career punctuated by violence and drug abuse, with fits of erratic and wild behavior leading to a career slump and two jail terms in the late 1990s before a late career redemption.

    Drawn from extensive interviews with the singer's close family and friends and regular members of his studio and touring bands, In the Midnight Hour is a narrative portrait of one of the greatest voices of soul and a rare window into the social upheavals that surrounded him, the genre he helped shape along the way, and the pitfalls of the fame that success brought him.

  • Earl Messer
    Dec 12, 2016

    In the Midnight Hour by Tony Fisher is everything a biography should be: thorough, fair, beautifully written and well researched. It certainly helps that the object of the biography is someone as dynamic, trailblazing and a person of many highs and lows as Wilson Pickett.

    While this book will be a delight for any fan of Pickett, it will also serve as a wonderful account of the early years of R&B and soul music. His life is told in all of its glory as well as all of its, well, less glorious mo

    In the Midnight Hour by Tony Fisher is everything a biography should be: thorough, fair, beautifully written and well researched. It certainly helps that the object of the biography is someone as dynamic, trailblazing and a person of many highs and lows as Wilson Pickett.

    While this book will be a delight for any fan of Pickett, it will also serve as a wonderful account of the early years of R&B and soul music. His life is told in all of its glory as well as all of its, well, less glorious moments. If you are fortunate enough to remember those years and his music, you will definitely find yourself singing his songs when you're doing other things. I had to pull out my old records just to hear him sing again. If you are more familiar with the name than the music, you will read the remarkable life of a man who could reach millions with his music yet also went through a period where his human weakness took over. When you decide to then listen to his music, it will touch you as not simply some oldies but music from the soul of both a man and his era.

    Yes, I am and have always been a fan of Pickett. That fact almost made me decide not to read this because so many biographies fall so short of the mark, even many of the good ones. I am so glad I chose to read this. I learned a lot and had a very pleasurable read aside from my love of Pickett's music. I would enthusiastically recommend this to fans of biographies, fans of music (especially 60s R&B, soul and pop) and fans of music history.

    Reviewed from an ARC made available by the publisher via NetGalley.

  • Chanelle
    Feb 03, 2017

    I won "In the Midnight Hour" as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

    So I have to be honest, I only knew Wilson Pickett's name thanks to my mom prior to reading this book. I had to Google his songs, and immediately thought "wow, I know all of these"! I appreciated being able to learn about this insanely talented artist through this well researched book.

    Fletcher does a great job of putting Pickett's life and music in context of the times. I couldn't help but draw parallels between his struggles and tho

    I won "In the Midnight Hour" as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

    So I have to be honest, I only knew Wilson Pickett's name thanks to my mom prior to reading this book. I had to Google his songs, and immediately thought "wow, I know all of these"! I appreciated being able to learn about this insanely talented artist through this well researched book.

    Fletcher does a great job of putting Pickett's life and music in context of the times. I couldn't help but draw parallels between his struggles and those of my family coming from the south during the time of segregation and Jim Crow. He also does a great job of tracing the history, and evolution, of R&B.

    While the book was a bit long-winded at parts, and sometimes lacked some of the intimate details you would expect of a biography, it still manages to tell the story of a man admired for his musical talents and disliked by some for his temper.

  • Starhistnake
    Jan 31, 2017

    I won this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.

    I thought this book was well researched and I appreciated the author's efforts to place Pickett's life in context. I did find the long passages of description of songs, while well written, became tedious after awhile. It's better just to listen to the songs themselves.

    While I do feel every effort was made to bring Pickett, the man, to the front - I also finished the bio feeling like I didn't really get to know Pickett as well as I'd hoped to. Still,

    I won this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.

    I thought this book was well researched and I appreciated the author's efforts to place Pickett's life in context. I did find the long passages of description of songs, while well written, became tedious after awhile. It's better just to listen to the songs themselves.

    While I do feel every effort was made to bring Pickett, the man, to the front - I also finished the bio feeling like I didn't really get to know Pickett as well as I'd hoped to. Still, it was an interesting read and I'm glad I know more about a man whose music has always been a part of my life.

  • P.e. lolo
    Jan 20, 2017

    This is an excellent biography about a singer that you truly felt your soul touched when he sang, and I still do when I hear one of his many hits: In the midnight hour, Mustang Sally, Land of 1000 Dances, to name a few there are many more and they are all outstanding songs. The author takes you back to Alabama, his childhood. With memories from relatives and friends. You get a look at his life as a young boy picking cotton and hunting, and fishing until he can make the move to Detroit with his f

    This is an excellent biography about a singer that you truly felt your soul touched when he sang, and I still do when I hear one of his many hits: In the midnight hour, Mustang Sally, Land of 1000 Dances, to name a few there are many more and they are all outstanding songs. The author takes you back to Alabama, his childhood. With memories from relatives and friends. You get a look at his life as a young boy picking cotton and hunting, and fishing until he can make the move to Detroit with his father. One line in the book was their childhood was not difficult because he and his siblings did not know anything different. It is true but the author shows you how his childhood would affect his relationship with people when he got older, musicians, friends, women, siblings, and then anyone else who he came into contact with. He also takes you into his gospel singing and the people who helped him. Then with a group called the Falcons which actually had a couple of good songs on Atlantic label. When he gets his break you see how his voice is truly his instrument and would not only allow him to work with some of the top names in the business, but also travel around the world. During his day he was the guy. The last part of the book is sad but true about a lot of people. This is truly a good book about a great singer and his rise to stardom. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at