Wilbert Harrison Biography

5 January 1929, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, d. 26 October 1994, Spencer, North Carolina, USA. Although Harrison first recorded as early as 1953, it was not until the end of the decade that the singer established his reputation with a superb jump blues-styled adaptation of the perennial ‘Kansas City’. This memorable single eventually rose to number 1 in the US pop and R&B charts, despite the attention of several competing versions. The singer then unleashed a series of similarly excellent releases including the compulsive ‘Let’s Stick Together’, which was revived many years later by Bryan Ferry. Harrison continued to record, rather unsuccessfully, throughout the 60s, until ‘Let’s Work Together’, a regenerated reading of that former release, returned him to the public eye. Harrison subsequently appeared in London with Creedence Clearwater Revival, but the song ultimately became better known with Canned Heat’s hit version, a number 2 in the UK and a number 17 in the USA. Its originator, meanwhile, made several excellent albums in the wake of his new-found popularity, but was unable to gain any consistent commercial appeal.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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