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Wilbert Harrison

Wilbert Harrison (January 5, 1929 – October 26, 1994) was an American rhythm and blues singer, pianist, guitarist and harmonica player.
The Rhythm & Blues Legend Wilbert Harrison - Biography, Best Songs and More!
The golden era of Rhythm & Blues music saw the rise of some truly legendary artists who have not just left a lasting impression but have also paved the way for contemporary music creators. One such luminary was Wilbert Harrison, a gifted singer, songwriter, and musician who captivated the world with his electrifying performances. With iconic tracks like Kansas City, Let's Work Together, and Cheating, Baby, Harrison cemented his place in the music history books. In this blog, we will delve deeper into the life and work of this remarkable artist, exploring his musical biography, genre, and performances that created a mark in the hearts of millions of music lovers.
Wilbert Harrison was born in North Carolina in 1929 and grew up in a musically inclined family. His parents were blues musicians, and Harrison imbibed the love for music from a young age. He relocated to Newark, NJ, in his teenage years, where he honed his skills as a self-taught musician and performer. At around 17 years old, Harrison started performing in local clubs and bars, eventually landing a record deal with the Savoy label in the late '40s. He had moderate success with his early recordings but experienced a meteoric rise with the release of his smash hit Kansas City in 1959. The song stayed on the top of the charts for seven weeks and propelled him to international fame.
The music genre that Harrison excelled in was a high-octane blend of Rhythm & Blues, soul, and rock and roll. His music was characterized by his trademark upbeat and danceable rhythms, falsetto vocals, and a contagious hook. His charismatic stage presence and energetic performances made him a favorite among fans and critics alike. His other popular tracks included Let's Work Together, Cheating, Baby, Goodbye Kansas City, and Don't Drop It. Harrison continued to churn out hits sporadically until the '80s, when he passed away at the age of 65.
Harrison's music was a reflection of his life experiences and the social and political climate of his time. His music often dealt with themes of love, heartbreak, and the struggles of the working class. Harrison's music was instrumental in bridging the gap between black and white audiences by bringing R&B to a more mainstream audience. His music was noted for its raw energy, authenticity, and the ability to get people moving. Harrison's legacy extends beyond his music, and he remains an influence on several contemporary artists.
One of the most memorable concerts of Harrison's career was his performance at the Apollo Theater in New York City. He was known for his impressive live shows, and his 1969 appearance at the Apollo was no exception. He played to a packed house, with fans swaying and dancing to his music. Another notable performance was his opening act for the British rock band The Rolling Stones in 1972. The Stones were known for their love of R&B and Harrison, and they were delighted to have him perform before them.
A noted critic of Harrison's work said: Wilbert Harrison was among the most influential artists of his time, known for his distinctive R&B sound that was a fusion of blues, rock and roll, and soul. His music was a reflection of the tumultuous times that he lived in, and he used his art to convey the hopes and aspirations of his community. His music continues to inspire and move people to this day, and it's a testament to his enduring legacy.
Wilbert Harrison was a true icon of Rhythm & Blues, whose music has left an indelible mark on the music world. His life and work continue to influence contemporary artists and shape the musical landscape. Harrison's ability to combine his musical talents with his social conscience made him a unique artist who transcended genres and left an impact on generations of music lovers worldwide. He was not just a singer or a musician; he was a cultural force who embodied the spirit of his time and left a legacy that will endure for years to come.


1 - Kansas City
2 - Let's Stick Together
3 - Let's Work Together
4 - Stagger Lee
5 - Goodbye Kansas City
6 - Louie Louie
7 - The Horse
8 - Poison Ivy
9 - My Love
10 - Let's Work Together
11 - Don't Drop It
12 - Stand By Me
13 - Near To You
14 - Tropical Shakedown
15 - Off To Work Again
16 - Girls On Parade
17 - My Heart Is Yours
18 - Say It Again
19 - Since I Fell For You
20 - Don't Wreck My Life
21 - Listen My Darling
22 - Blue Monday
23 - Why Did You Leave
24 - Baby Move On
25 - Cheating Baby