Monday, April 21, 2008

Al Wilson, 1939-2008

Al Wilson, singer of one of the most forgotten Number One hits of the Seventies, dead at the age of 68. A native of Meridian, Mississippi, like so many of this blog's favorites, Wilson moved to San Bernardino as a teenager. The story goes that his first job was as a singing, rollerskating carhop, but he sang so good that the other singer/skaters banded together and got Al fired.

Wilson sang with several Los Angeles R&B groups before being signed by Johnny Rivers to his Soul City label, where he cut his first hit, "The Snake," produced by Rivers, which went to the Top Thirty in 1968. In the first few weeks of 1974, Wilson's version of "Show and Tell" spent a single week at Number One, where it was quickly replaced by Ringo Starr's "You're Sixteen."

Wilson had a couple more hits sneak into the Top Thirty, but frankly, I'd never heard of them until today. His dying words were: "Billy Paul lives on."

This is just a game I play:


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