Jackie Wilson

Reet Petite [Ace]

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Although one really had to see Jackie Wilson live to truly appreciate his considerable talents as a singer and entertainer, his legacy today rests with his recordings from the late 1950s and early '60s with Brunswick Records, the key tracks of which are collected here. Wilson in concert was sort of a cross between Sam Cooke and James Brown, putting on a riveting and strenuous show, but in the studio that very energetic and physical connection he could make with an audience didn't come so much into play, and his records are sort of Jackie Wilson light as a consequence. That doesn't mean they aren't good, though, and tracks here like "Reet Petite" (written by a young Berry Gordy -- many of Wilson's songs during the Brunswick years were written or co-written by Gordy), "Lonely Teardrops," the impressive and moving "Doggin' Around," "I'll Be Satisfied," and the gospel-injected "Do Lord" are all classics and show Wilson's considerable stylistic versatility.

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