In the Midnight Hour: The Life & Soul of Wilson Pickett


Product Details

$27.95  $25.99
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.4 X 1.2 inches | 1.3 pounds

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About the Author

Tony Fletcher is the bestselling author of major biographies on Keith Moon, the Smiths, and R.E.M., as well as a memoir, a novel, and a history of the New York City music scene. Born in northern England, and raised in South London, where he started his own music magazine at the age of thirteen, he emigrated to New York City in the late 1980s. When not traveling with his family, he makes his home near Woodstock in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. A contributor to Salon and the Wall Street Journal, his writing has also appeared in Mojo, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, Spin, and Newsday, and he has contributed to a host of other publications, radio, and television shows worldwide.


"Fletcher's account [...] is enthralling and rigorously researched ... [A] captivating book." --Mark Ellen, The Sunday Times

"Fletcher's vibrant book brings Pickett and his music to glorious life."--Publishers Weekly

"Throughout the book, Fletcher ably explores [the] dichotomy in Pickett's character... [In the Midnight Hour is] a layered portrait of the legendary singer."--Kirkus

"This biography of soul singer Wilson Pickett is distinctive for its voluminous and nonjudgmental accounting of his life, from early childhood on, and of the complex early days of rhythm and-blues recording... In a book remarkable for its copious family research, Fletcher, a true devotee of the music, gives us the complete Pickett, more so than Mark Ribowsky did for Otis Redding, or James McBride has done for James Brown."--Booklist

"[In the Midnight Hour] is biography at its best: anecdotal, comprehensive, captivating and concise."--Shelf Awareness

"Fletcher's brilliant little book shines a light on the good, bad, and ugly of Pickett's life, as it illustrates just how vital his music is to the history of soul and rock and roll."--No Depression

"Tony Fletcher has written the first full biography of Pickett, presenting his story with engaging prose rooted in solid research. "--Shepherd Express

"Journalists who write about sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll often find it easier to focus on the sensational aspects of the industry than on the music itself, but Mr. Fletcher... gets it right."--Wall Street Journal

"[A] richly detailed new biography of the singer. This book is a reminder of just how powerful a presence Pickett was, especially throughout the 1960s, as African-American music migrated from churches and black radio stations into the mainstream, and as America itself underwent dramatic social changes."--Seattle Times

"Insightful and informative."-Billy Heller, New York Post

"From his fiery rise to fame to his slow sips to death, Tony Fletcher's In the Midnight Hour captures the essence of soul singer Wilson Pickett and tells a tale that reads with the anticipation of a murder mystery novel... [Fletcher] sets the detailed scene of an era in musical history that is filled with racism, segregation, violence, shady business dealings, and recordings that touched the world."--Chronogram Magazine

"[Tony Fletcher] provides the most complete picture, warts and all, of this singular soul artist-and he doesn't pull any punches... [written] with clarity and a wealth of
fascinating information."--Paste Magazine

"Those curious about the dynamic tension that gave one of the great American soul men his unique sound and power will enjoy Tony Fletcher's thorough [book]."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"A compulsory read tinged with tragedy and triumph that resurrects the genius of a forgotten icon."--Alive Magazine

"A vivid, detailed, and insightful portrait."--Popmatters

"Tony Fletcher's research is impeccable, his sources are unimpeachable, and his style is thoroughly engaging."--Arts Fuse

"The unique performer, the complicated man and the brute bully all come together in one here. Wilson Pickett gets his R-E-S-P-E-C-T in book form, finally."--Houston Press

"[In the Midnight Hour] has a subtle way with modern American history, and character, as well as great character studies of Duane Allman, James Brown, Solomon Burke, Aretha Franklin, Lloyd Price, Jerry Wexler, and the monumental Bobby Womack."--Woodstock Times

"As any good biography of a musician should, In the Midnight Hour sends us back to the recordings, the best of which have not lost one iota of their power."--New York Times Book Review

"Fletcher offers a detailed and perceptive account of Pickett's life, and his rise and fall within the world of popular music... Fletcher has given us a good understanding of this talented but a flawed man."--IASPM Journal