Oh, wow, he did that?

That was my reaction when I found “The Snake” on another blog last year.

I knew the song. I didn’t know a guy named Al Wilson had recorded it, nor did I know anything about Al Wilson.

I had another revelation like that last night, reading another blog. Tom over at One Poor Correspondent mentioned that Al Wilson had died Monday. He was 68.

Tom mentioned that Al Wilson had done “Show and Tell” — a big hit in early 1974 — and linked to this great YouTube video of Wilson doing that tune on “Soul Train.” Smooth.

I knew that song, too. I didn’t know Al Wilson had recorded it. And I still didn’t know much about Al Wilson.

Even the usually reliable Los Angeles Times wasn’t much help. Though Al Wilson lived in the L.A. area, it didn’t offer much in the way of an appreciation of his life. For that, I had to turn to the San Bernardino Sun and the Riverside Press-Enterprise, a couple of suburban papers:

“He was a very good songbird and a very good father.”

That’s what Al’s son, Tony, told the San Bernardino paper.

Can’t ask for much more than that.

“The Snake,” Al Wilson, from the original 45, Soul City 767, 1968.

Yes, it was produced by Johnny Rivers on Rivers’ label with Rivers’ distinctive sound.

(Thanks to Jason over at Shindiggit for posting this last year.)

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1 Comment

Filed under April 2008, Sounds

One response to “Oh, wow, he did that?

  1. Ironically enough, I found a copy of that 45 in the field a few months back but never played it. Today I will in his honour.

    While I’m sure you already have a few, you should check out some of the deep catalogue stuff that The 5th Dimension did on Soul City. More great production by Mr. Rivers.

    Peace and blessings.

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