Friday, April 15, 2016

Black Preacher's Oratorical Style & Wilson Pickett's 1971 Soul To Soul Concert Introduction to "Land Of A Thousand Dances"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides a video of Soul singer Wilson Pickett's performance of his hit song "Land Of A Thousand Dances" at the 1971 Soul To Soul concert in Ghana, West Africa.

The focus of this post is the similarity between Wilson Pickett's introduction of "Land Of A Thousand Dances" and the cadence flow, call & response, and shouting oratorical style that is commonly associated with a number of Black [African American] preachers.

My transcription of that introduction is included in this post. Additions and corrections of that transcription are welcome.

Selected comments from this video's discussion thread are also included in this post. Some of these comments refer to the oratorical style that Wilson Pickett used for that introduction.

The Addendum to this post provides some information about the 1971 Soul to Soul concert in Ghana, West Africa.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Wilson Pickett for his musical legacy. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks also to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

Click for a pancocojams post which features a video of a Black pastor's sermon closing and includes information about the style of Black sermonizing called "whooping".

"Wilson Pickett (March 18, 1941 – January 19, 2006) was an American R&B, soul and rock and roll singer and songwriter.

A major figure in the development of American soul music, Pickett recorded over 50 songs which made the US R&B charts, many of which crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100. Among his best-known hits are "In the Midnight Hour" (which he co-wrote), "Land of 1,000 Dances", "Mustang Sally", and "Funky Broadway".[2]
Pickett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, in recognition of his impact on songwriting and recording.[3]"...

"Land of a Thousand Dances" (or "Land of 1000 Dances") is a song written and first recorded by Chris Kenner in 1963. The song is famous for its "na na na na na" hook, which Cannibal & the Headhunters added in their 1965 version, which reached number 30 on the Billboard chart.[1] The song was covered by Danny & the Memories. Thee Midniters, an American group out of East Los Angeles, was one of the first Chicano rock bands to cover "Land of a Thousand Dances", scoring a local hit in 1965. The song's best-known version was Wilson Pickett's 1966 recording on his album, which became an R&B #1 and his biggest ever pop hit. Some releases of the song credit Antoine "Fats" Domino as a co-author of the song with Kenner. Domino agreed to record the song in exchange for half of the song's royalties."

SHOWCASE VIDEO: Wilson Pickett - Land of a Thousand Dances (HQ)

Edmilson Guermacoski, Published on Dec 16, 2013


(at the 1971 Soul to Soul concert)

I was over in England
About a year ago
Doin the Tom Jones [show]
And ah fella dropped by by the name Ringo.
Ringo began to ask me some questions.
He said, “Pickett, you’ve been all around the world
singin about a thing called soul
He said, can you pleeese tell me
what is soul?
I looked around at him
I said “Ringo, I said
Sooooul ain't nuthin' but a feelin' .
He said, “How do you know? How do you know when you get it?”
I said “It gets in your haaaands.
It makes you clap your haaands.
[audience claps hands and exclaimsye]
Oh yes.
I heard ah sista say
“It got in my feeet.
And I had to I had to move my feeet.
Let me hear you say “Yeeeah!”
[audience shouts Yeah!]
How many of you think you got soul tonight, lemme see your hands
[audience raises one hand]
Now you got it tonight. Lemme see ya raise your hands.
{audience raises one hand]
Lawd have mercy.
I’m feelin pretty good right now.
*This is my transcription of this introduction. Additions and corrections are welcome.

The band accompanies Pickett's words during that introduction by playing riffs throughout this introduction. This manner of musical accompaniment is customary in many African American churches.

After that last line, Wilson Pickett immediately starts singing "Land Of A Thousand Dances" [at 1:39 of this video.]

Click for the lyrics to this song.

These comments are given in chronological order based on their publishing date by year with the oldest comments given first. I've assigned numbers for referencing purposes only.
1. Hot80s
"love it. where was this concert held? tks"

2. Paul White
"In mother Africa!!! I believe Ike and Tina were on this bill as well, though I'm not sure who else."

3. Julio César Báez Aguilar (julianozain)
"Soul To Soul concert held in Accra, Ghana, on 6 March 1971.. Friendly greetings!!"

Paul White
4. "Looks like Ringo Starr got his answer... Rest on Mr. Pickett!!!"

5. THEMOJOMANsince1959
"Black Preacher Gospel Style. Which is good."

6. "Wow! pure energy!! like a black church service..."

[This comment is made in response to a question about why women at that Ghanaian concert didn't dance with men.]

7. Audrey Quaye
"I am from Ghana. Women would typically not mix in a crowd with men. I believe the concert was held at Black Star Square. The women would be sitting in the stands and not with the men in front of the stage. I hope this helps."

8. Finley Quaye
"That's correct Audrey, Black Star Square aka Independence Square.
I suggested organizing a similar event for 6th March 2017."

9. Christopher Reinheimer
"+Audrey Quaye well hopefully now you are in America. where men will dance with you."

"Soul To Soul was a concert held in Accra, Ghana, on 6 March 1971, by an array of mostly American R&B, soul, rock, and jazz musicians. It is also the name of a 1971 documentary film recording the concert.[1]

Ghana, after declaring its Independence on 6 March 1957, had made a variety of efforts to connect with African diasporans, some of whom — including Maya Angelou, W. E. B. Du Bois and George Padmore — lived in the West African nation for a time. In the mid-1960s, Angelou approached the government of Kwame Nkrumah and suggested bringing a number of African-American artists to Ghana for the annual independence celebrations. Nkrumah was deposed before action could be taken, but when the American father-son team of Ed Mosk and Tom Mosk approached the Ghana Arts Council in 1970 with an idea for a concert, the Council agreed. A massive 1970 concert by James Brown in Lagos, Nigeria, had prompted the Mosks' confidence in the idea.

Of the musicians invited to perform, Wilson Pickett was by far the biggest star in Ghana, where he was known as "Soul Brother No. 2." (James Brown was, of course, Soul Brother No. 1.)"...

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