Like many other jazz and R&B singers, Nancy Wilson sang in her church choir. By the age of fifteen, she was singing twice a week on a local television show. She later became the host of the show. She toured with Rusty Bryant’s Carolyn Club Big Band beginning in 1956 and began recording for Dot Records. In 1959 she moved to New York City and began singing at The Blue Morocco club.
Nancy recorded several live albums at the club and she reached #11 on the R&B charts with Save Your Love For Me in 1962. Several more albums followed and in 1964 she released the album How Glad I AM. The second single from the album, (You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am, reached #11 on the Hot 100. The single was nominated for a Grammy award and the album won for the Best Rhythm and Blues performance of the year.
Nancy began appearing on television shows, initially as a singer and later also doing some acting. She also became active in the Civil Rights movement and won a number of awards for her work.
Her only other visit to the Hot 100 came in 1968. Face It Girl, It’s Over reached #29 and the single. Her single releases periodically placed on the R&B chart until 1994 and ten of the singles also reached the Adult Contemporary top forty as well.
She continued to record at least one new album every year until 2006. In 2005 and 2007 she won additional Grammies for the Best Jazz Album of the year. After those triumphs, her health issues made it too difficult for her to continue recording. Nancy died in 2018.