Land Of 1000 Dances (1965) (1966)

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Wilson Pickett (born March 18, 1941 in Prattville, Alabama, died of a heart attack at the age of 64 on January 19, 2006 in Reston, Virginia.)

Wilson Pickett was an American soul singer who had over 50 charting US R&B hits, including "In The Midnight Hour", "Mustang Sally", "634-5789", "Funky Broadway" and "Land Of 1000 Dances".

Pickett was backed up by Stax Records veterans such as guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn and drummer Al Jackson, Jr., who were all also members of Booker T. And The MGs.

Chart position: #6 (US), #1 (US R&B).

It was Pickett's third #1 US R&B hit and was his biggest pop hit ever. It sold over 1 millions copies.

The Top Ten Songs: September 21, 1963 (US Billboard Hot 100).
  1. "You Can't Hurry Love" (Supremes)
  2. "Sunshine Superman" (Donovan)
  3. "Yellow Submarine" (Beatles)
  4. "See You In September" (Happenings)
  5. "Summer In The City" (Lovin' Spoonful)
  6. "Land Of 1000 Dances" (Wilson Pickett)
  7. "Sunny" (Bobby Hebb)
  8. "Working In The Coal Mine" (Lee Dorsey)
  9. "Bus Stop" (Hollies)
  10. "Guantanamera" (Sandpipers)

Written by: Chris Kenner (born December 25, 1929 in Kenner, Louisiana, died of a heart attack at the age of 46 on January 25, 1975.)

Kenner also wrote and originally recorded such songs as "I Like It Like That" and "Something You Got".

According to, Kenner took the song to noted New Orleans record producer Allen Toussaint and recorded it in 1962. He was inspired by the traditional spiritual song "Children Go Where I Send Thee". It originally featured the following introduction: "I'm gonna take you, baby, I'm gonna take you to a place. The name of the place is the Land of a Thousand Dances." It charted near the bottom of the Billboard Hot 100, at #77.

Kenner was determined to make it a hit. He approached Fats Domino and persuaded him to record it, with the incentive of half the publishing rights and to be listed as co-writer. That version failed to chart.

Also by:
Cannibal and the Headhunters, whose version reached #30 in 1965. They were one of the first Mexican-American rock groups to have a national hit.

According to lead singer Frankie Garcia, one the most memorable parts now associated with "Land Of 1000 Dances" was an accident:

"Now the original of that song, if you've ever heard it, is lyrics from beginning to end. Dances all the way through. Lots of lyrics. And on stage, I blacked out and couldn't remember the words. So I started ad-libbing, 'Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na.'"

"After the show, the other musicians went 'What were you doing?' and I said 'I don't know.' And they said 'Well do it again, it sounded real good. Could you do it again?' Finally we got to where I could remember it, but didn't care about the words anymore. I just wanted to get to that 'Na na na na na.'"

Originally by:
Chris Kenner, whose version reached #77 (US) in 1963.

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