1970 Wilson Pickett – Engine Number 9
Roger Miller wrote and recorded the song Engine Engine Number 9 in 1965. His single reached #7 on the Hot 100 (and number two on the Adult Contemporary and Country charts).
That’s not the song I had in mind for today.
Wilson Pickett had recently been recording music in Memphis, Muscle Shoals, and Miami in the late sixties. Perhaps as a change of pace, he relocated to Philidelphia and recorded the 1970 album Wilson Pickett In Philidelphia with songwriters/producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.
The duo wrote a song with almost the same title as Roger’s old hit: Engine Number 9. Wilson Pickett included a six-minute version of the song on the album. Perhaps to avoid confusion with Roger’s hit, people often referred to Wilson’s version as Get Me Back On Time, Engine Number 9.
The song ran over six minutes on the album and had to be cut down to less than three minutes for its release as a single. The record reached #14 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B chart.
A second song from the album, Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You, reached #17 on the Hot 100 and peaked at #2 on the R&B chart. While that may not be too different from his previous single, it earned Wilson a gold record.
Wilson returned to Muscle Shoals for his next album, which generated a gold single that reached the top of the R&B chart, Don’t Knock My Love – Part I.
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