Meridian Native Al Wilson Died Monday

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Soul singer-songwriter Al Wilson, who had a number of 1970s hits, including "Show and Tell," has died. He was 68.

Wilson died Monday of kidney failure at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana.

Wilson was born in Meridian in 1939 and attended Kate Griffin Junior High School. He sang in the church choir as a boy and had his own spiritual singing quartet. His family moved to San Bernardino in 1958 and he found work as a mail carrier, office clerk and janitor.

Wilson toured for four years with the group Johnny "Legs" Harris and the Statesmen before joining the Navy. After a two-year stint, he moved to Los Angeles and played with the Jewels and their successor group, the Rollers. A drummer, he also worked with the instrumental group the Souls.

In 1966, he was spotted by manager Marc Gordon, who introduced him to singer Johnny Rivers, who signed him to his Soul City label. Wilson's first single, "The Snake" in 1968, was a hit and was followed by "Do What You Gotta Do."

"Show and Tell" was released in 1973 and the next year was No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 chart.


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  • by Vin Baker Location: Sydney on Jul 16, 2008 at 04:42 AM
    I used to remember Al Wilson from the Show And Tell hit and that was the one that got placed in my top selection to play. Never met the man personally but hearing him pass was like hearing that a friend or neighbour had passed on. Funny that! I've since discovered more of his music and its telling me that this man was nothing short of amazing. I think that the music world has lost one of its best artists and I would put Al Wilson right at the top with the great singers and performers like Lou Rawls, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Otis Redding etc. I heard some songs of his recently that introduced me to another side of his music and its a shame that more of Al Wilson never got through to the general public. Perhaps oneday someone will get in and remaster his past work and put a re release on some or all of his albums. Believe me it will be worth it. There's much more to Al Wilson than just the Snake and Show And Tell. I hope oneday that we can all see what a great guy he really was. Peace.
  • by Ruth Location: Bailey on Apr 22, 2008 at 04:35 PM
    May God be with Al Wilson's family and loved ones! All of us of a certain age can sing along to all of his hits. Meridian has turned out a huge amount of musical talent. Al Wilson is right up there at the top.
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