Singer Wilson Pickett was renowned as an energetic and intense performer. The Prattville native gained international fame with such hits as “Land of 1,000 Dances” and “In the Midnight Hour” and became one of the biggest music stars of the 1960s and 70s. He remains one of the most unique and significant artists of the soul-music era. Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler encouraged Pickett to record at famed Stax Records studios in Memphis, merging the gospel roots of Pickett’s vocals with the strutting, layered rhythms of the Stax musicians. Pickett soon was topping the R&B charts and crossing over to the pop charts. In early 1966, Wexler took Pickett to FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, which had built a reputation as a versatile source of hit records. He and the Muscle Shoals “Swampers” recorded celebratory, hard-driving hits such as “Land of A Thousand Dances” and “Mustang Sally.” Wilson Pickett was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

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Encyclopedia of Alabama

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