2006 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Horhn, Dawkins, Williamson, Tollison, Jordan, Walls, Jackson (11th), Jackson (32nd), Simmons, Turner, Thomas, Butler, Albritton, Brown, Browning, Burton, Clarke, Dearing, Doxey, Frazier, Gollott, Kirby, Morgan

Senate Concurrent Resolution 555

(As Adopted by Senate)


     WHEREAS, amazing soul pioneer Wilson Pickett, whose fiery hits "Mustang Sally" and "In The Midnight Hour" defined the music of a generation and appealed to all races, passed away on Thursday, January 19, 2006; and

     WHEREAS, Wilson Pickett, known as the "Wicked Pickett," became a star with his soulful hits in the 1960s.  "In the Midnight Hour" made the Top 25 on the Billboard Pop Charts in 1965, and "Mustang Sally" did the same the following year; and

     WHEREAS, "a fellow Detroiter, Wilson Pickett was one of the greatest soul singers of all time," Aretha Franklin said in a statement.  "He will absolutely be missed"; and

     WHEREAS, Pickett was defined by his raspy voice and passionate delivery.  Alabama-born Pickett got his start singing gospel music in church; and

     WHEREAS, after moving to Detroit, Michigan, as a teen, he joined the group the Falcons, which scored the hit "I Found a Love" with Pickett on lead vocals in 1962; and

     WHEREAS, in 1965, he linked with legendary soul producer Jerry Wexler at the equally legendary soul label Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, and recorded one of his greatest hits "In the Midnight Hour" for Atlantic Records; and

     WHEREAS, a string of hits followed, including "634-5789," "Funky Broadway," "Mustang Sally," "Land of 1000 Dances," "99-1/2 Won't Do," "Everybody Needs Somebody," "Bonefootin," "She's Looking Good," "Don't Knock my Love" and many more.  His sensuous soul was in sharp contrast to the genteel soul songs of his Detroit counterparts at Motown Records; and

     WHEREAS, Pickett was featured in a 2002 documentary on soul greats, "Only the Strong Survive."  He wrote his own songs; he was very musically adept, and many of his songs have been covered by other artists; and

     WHEREAS, as Pickett entered a new decade, he had less success on the charts, but still had a few more hits, including the song "Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You."  Like all these great legends of R&B, when disco came in, it really impacted his career, although he continued to be incredibly popular in Europe, every summer touring Europe to incredible crowds; and

     WHEREAS, besides his induction into the Music Hall of Fame in 1991, he was also given the Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation two years later.  "If I wasn't in show business I don't know what I would have been, a wanderer or something, you know?" Pickett said in a 2001 interview.  "But God blessed me with the talent and the chance.  I knocked on enough doors, and this is what I can give myself credit for"; and

     WHEREAS, it is with sadness that we note the passing of this musical icon who cast a long shadow and served as a role model for all musicians:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life and artistic contributions of soul pioneer Wilson Pickett and extend to his surviving family the sympathy of the Legislature on his passing.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of Wilson Pickett and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.