Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Musical Monday: Jackie Wilson said what?

It’s a Monday, there’s something like eight inches of snow on the ground (despite the forecast that told us we’d have half that, at most), and I’m kind of tired and achy, hoping it’s not something coming on. So, we’ll have some rather chipper music today! About two weeks back, I completely got Van Morrison’s Jackie Wilson Said stuck in my head.

But it did get me wondering:  What did Jackie Wilson say? According to Van Morrison, it was ‘Reet Petite’, whatever that meant. But since Morrison has a rather…unique…vocal style (as my wife says, “He swallows his words,” which is a pretty apt description), what you hear may not come anywhwere close to reality. After all, for years I thought the chorus line in Jackie Wilson Said went either “What did Billy want” or “Bop en diddy wah” when it’s really “I’m in heaven when”. So, I did a little searching.

Turns out, Jackie Wilson really did say “Reet Petite”! Reet Petite (The Sweetest Girl in Town) was Wilson’s first solo hit way back in 1957, and got a second burst on the charts almost thirty years later, when the following, somewhat bizarre) video was made (three years after Wilson’s death).

Well, that’s it for me. Just about time to go and shovel. How’s things by you all?

4 Responses

  1. Stacy: I don't mind it all that much–it's quite pretty. I'm also supposed to lead a snowshoe hike on Sunday, so it's actually kind of good to have!
    Donna: Are you part of the area that's been mired in a five-year drought, or is yours a little less severe? A lot of people forget that snow is for more than just skiing.

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