AL WILSON PASSES

Thursday, 24 April 2008 11:55 Bill Buckley Print

AL WILSON PASSES

AL WILSON, long time favourite with the UK real soul fraternity, has died aged just 68. News sources state that WILSON died on Monday 21st April of kidney failure at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana, California. WILSON, who was born June 19th, 1939, in Meridian, Mississippi, started his musical apprenticeship in the Church fronting a series of juvenile gospel groups. A stint in the US Navy saw AL performing as part of the famed enlisted men's chorus and after returning to civilian life, he toured the Los Angeles nightclub circuit, where he sang with R&B groups THE JEWELS and THE ROLLERS and later played drums with the SOULS. In 1966, singer JOHNNY RIVERS signed him to his Soul City label where he recorded the legendary 'Searching For The Dolphins' album. The album, recently re-released on Kent Records, featured the original version of JIMMY WEBB'S 'Do What You Gotta Do' and the Northern Soul anthem 'The Snake'. After Soul City folded AL recorded for Bell, Carousel and Rocky Road. It was at Rocky Road that he scored his biggest hit in 1973 with the smooth soul anthem 'Show And Tell', but as the seventies rolled on, success was limited. With 1979's 'Count the Days', WILSON scored his final chart hit, and he spent the next two decades touring clubs and lounges. In 2001, he re-recorded his classic hits for the album 'Spice of Life' but he continued creating new material. "He was always singing," his son said. "He would often call me in the middle of the night with a new song that he had written". WILSON is survived by his wife, PATRICIA; his son, TONY; daughters ALENE HARRIS and SHARON BURLEY; a brother, EDDIE WILSON; sisters LOTTIE ROSS, RUBY CONYERS and MAEBELL COLE; and 13 grandchildren