Soulful DetroitArchives - July 2010 � Al Wilson Vs. Al Wilson Previous Next

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JSmith (jsmith)
6-Zenith
Username: jsmith

Post Number: 5597
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - 4:12 am: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Inspired by the Greg Perry Vs. Gregg Perry thread, I thought I'd start this one.

We all know THE Al Wilson .....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd82HxYyHZg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTsAFA6jxsQ

Sadly he passed not too long ago, but he left a great legacy in his music (recordings).

I had the pleasure of spending much of a weekend with him at the Cleethorpes NS Weekender a few years back (he even visited us in our 'chalet'). He performed at the event & put on a great show.
He even sang "Help Me" ... BUT ... confirmed that this recording had nothing at all to do with him.







The Wand track was obviously cut in the New York area sometime around late 1966 ... but who was THIS Al Wilson.

There was an Al Wilson that was a driving force behind Canned Heat (harmonica player & some-time singer) but the NY soul production team associated with "Help Me" wouldn't seem natural partners for this guy to be working with.

So does anyone have any idea who the Wand Al Wilson was ????
... ... and .. did he record anything else ??
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Mark Speck (mark_speck)
6-Zenith
Username: mark_speck

Post Number: 6954
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - 9:39 pm: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have the Best of Al Wilson CD here that I borrowed from the library, John, and Bill Dahl's liner notes say that it is the same Al that recorded for Wand...but as you say, the credits are definitely New York folks...so I think the notes on this CD are incorrect.

Best,

Mark
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JSmith (jsmith)
6-Zenith
Username: jsmith

Post Number: 5612
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 3:14 am: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mark,
... ... as I said above, I spent 2 days with Al a few years back AND he was positive that he had nothing to do with "Help Me"
(I know that with the passage of time, a lot of memories get screwed up and artists will think that certain events happened in a different way ... but I don't think that Al would have forgotten a trip to record in NY at the beginning of his career).

He did perform the song at the Cleggy Weekender though and even tried to explain to the audience that he wasn't actually the singer on the cut .. .. but he had to give up & just sing the song when he announced its title & the crowd went wild (Ady, like the rest of us, had just assumed it was by "The Snake" guy & so had got the backing band to learn the tune for the event).

As an aside, did you ever sort out your local library membership & manage to get access to their 'on-line' old stuff ??
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JSmith (jsmith)
6-Zenith
Username: jsmith

Post Number: 5613
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 3:20 am: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

BTW, Al told me that he had been told that the "Help Me" guy had been NY based but that he had later moved to the UK !!!
Sounds like just a rumour to me .... but that was what Al thought had happened to his namesake.
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Heikki (heikki)
6-Zenith
Username: heikki

Post Number: 917
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 11:30 am: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi!

When asked who the singer on Help Me is, Al answered: "I have no idea. It blew me away. When I got over there to England, I was thinking everybody wanted Show and Tell. 'No, we want Help Me'! But I like doing the song, because it has a groove, like the old Motown groove. When I started with Johnny Rivers, I was using a lot of those Motown-orientated tracks, because Willie Hutch was producing and he had just left Motown."
(Soul Express: Al Wilson story, part 1)
http://www.soulexpress.net/alw ilson_discography.htm

Best regards
Heikki
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Mark Speck (mark_speck)
6-Zenith
Username: mark_speck

Post Number: 6956
Registered: 4-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 12:14 am: ��Edit PostDelete Post���Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

John--I haven't had a chance to clear up the online library thing...when I do, I'll let you know.

Best,

Mark

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