♫ In The Midnight Hour ♫ (Redux)

For some reason, this song has been swimming around in my head tonight … first time I’ve thought of it in ages, but it just doesn’t want to leave, so … you know what that means!

The year was 1965.  The artist was Wilson Pickett, and In the Midnight Hour would become his breakout hit, hitting #21 in the U.S. and #12 in the UK.  He went on to become a soul music legend and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

Pickett and guitarist Steve Cropper wrote this, interestingly, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, where Martin Luther King would later be assassinated in 1968.  Said Cropper …

“I say in my shows that playing the guitar is real simple, you just follow the dots – the dots on neck on every guitar are in the same place. That’s how I came up with the intro for this. They go, It couldn’t be that simple,’ then all of them go home and get their guitars out and go, ‘Wow, it is!'”

According to SongFacts …

When Pickett and Booker T and the MG’s first tried to record the song, nobody liked the result – then Jerry Wexler had the idea to change the rhythm so that the teenagers could dance The Jerk, which was a big dance craze at the time. To do this, Wexler had the rhythm section stress the “two” beat, which simulated the dance. Wexler also demonstrated the dance, which the band found amusing.

Steve Cropper explained on his website: “He was pretty adamant about how Jackson and I stayed really locked in, and that was probably one of the first examples of a song that has a really delayed backbeat, and strictly in the design of the jerk dance. And Al Jackson and I had both seen that dance – I think it was in Detroit – we were playing a show out there and we were noticing these kids doing this dance a little bit different from some of the other kids that we had seen dancing, and Al Jackson picked up on that right away, so he knew immediately what Jerry Wexler was talking about when he said ‘I want that jerk beat.’ So, it worked out pretty good, and of course Wilson fell right into it being a dancer himself.”

The song charted at #12 in the UK and #21 in the U.S.

In the Midnight Hour
Wilson Pickett

I’m gonna wait ’till the midnight hour
That’s when my love come tumbling down
I’m gonna wait ’till the midnight hour
When there’ no one else around
I’m gonna take you, girl, and hold you
And do all things I told you, in the midnight hour

Yes I am, oh yes I am
One thing I just wanna say, right here

I’m gonna wait till the stars come out
And see that twinkle in your eyes
I’m gonna wait ’till the midnight hour
That’s when my love begins to shine

You’re the only girl I know
Can really love me so, in the midnight hour

Oh yeah, in the midnight hour
Yeah, all right, play it for me one time, now

I’m gonna wait ’till the midnight hour
That’s when my love come tumbling down
I’m gonna wait, way in the midnight hour
That’s when my love begin to shine, just you and I
Oh, baby, just you and I
Nobody around, baby, just you and I
Oh, right, you know what?
I’m gonna hold you in my arms, just you and I
Oh yeah, in the midnight hour
Oh, baby, in the midnight hour

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Wilson Pickett / Steve Cropper
In the Midnight Hour lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, Spirit Music Group, BMG Rights Management, Songtrust Ave, Warner Chappell Music Inc

8 thoughts on “♫ In The Midnight Hour ♫ (Redux)

  1. Yes, that song got me up and dancing, but not the Jerk. I just moved to the music in my own way. I loved free-form dances. Now I’m lucky if I can shuffle my feet without falling. (But i can still Hand Jive!)
    I actually thought In The Midnight Hour climbed higher up the charts than your records show. But then, in those days, every record station made up their own charts, based partially on record requests. I never even heard of Billboard or Rolling Stone till much later in life. And everyone knows Winnipeg had a very unusual taste in music. Our local charts seldom reflected what was going on in the rest of the music world.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I never learned any actual dances, but always just let the music move me as it would. Like you, I now dance mostly in my head, for else I would likely fall and break something … it’s good enough that I can walk from point A to point B (as long as it’s not too far) without falling down! You may be right about the charts … I never paid much attention, just liked what I liked and didn’t care how or where it charted.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s