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"In the Midnight Hour" is a song originally performed by Wilson Pickett in 1965 and released on the 1966 album The Exciting Wilson Pickett. It was composed by Pickett and Steve Cropper at the historic Lorraine Motel in Memphis where Martin Luther King, Jr. would later be murdered in April of 1968. Pickett's first hit on Atlantic Records, it reached #1 on the R&B charts and peaked at #21 on the pop charts.[1]

The song has become a '60s soul standard, and placed at #134 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time, Wilson Pickett's first of two entries on the list (the other being "Mustang Sally" at #434). It is also one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, Pickett's only such entry. The song is currently ranked as the 89th greatest song of all time, as well as the seventh best song of 1965, by Acclaimed Music.[2]

The track has been covered by many artists, including Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, The Doors and Van Morrison's Them band at the Whiskey A Go Go (1966),[3]the Grateful Dead (who often played it as a closer to their sets in 1966 and 1967), The Rascals, Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, Chocolate Watchband, Razzy Bailey, Roxy Music, The Jam, Johnny Thunders, The Chambers Brothers, Roger Troutman, The Toasters, Buddy Guy, The Rock Bottom Remainders, The Commitments, Cross Country, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Samantha Sang.

Australian Soul singer Guy Sebastian recorded a cover of "In the Midnight Hour" with Steve Cropper the original co-songwriter of this song.[4] [5] Cropper played guitar on and produced the Sebastian version on The Memphis Album. Sebastian and Cropper toured together in Australia in 2008 and there is a DVD CD The Memphis Tour on which "In the Midnight Hour" is tracklisted.

References

Preceded by
"I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" by The Four Tops
Billboard Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles number-one single
August 7, 1965
Succeeded by
"Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" Part 1 by James Brown
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