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Sat, 02.20.1937

Nancy Wilson, a voice with style

Nancy Wilson

*Nancy Wilson was born on this date in 1937. She was an African American entertainer.

From Chillicothe, Ohio as a young girl Wilson moved, with her family, to Columbus. Influenced by legends such as Lavern baker, Dinah Washington, Ruth Brown and "little" Jimmy Scott, she says that by the age of four, she knew she would eventually become a singer. Wilson began her formal vocal training as part of a church choir. At age fifteen, she won her own television series called skyline melodies as part of a talent competition. Though she continued school and eventually enrolled in college, she left to join Rusty Bryant’s Carolyn Club Band, in 1956.

Wilson also came to know and perform with Cannonball Adderley, who introduced her to her future manager, John Levy who signed her with capitol records. Her first two singles with capitol were "like in love" and the Adderley collaboration "save your love for me." In 1964, Wilson won a Grammy for "How Glad am I". Also in 1967, Wilson won an Emmy for her Nancy Wilson Show.  Wilson’s versatility allowed her to engage in a promotional cycle that ensured her success throughout the 1960s and 1970s'.

She headlined shows in Las Vegas and at some of the nations premiere supper clubs. In 1991 she released with my lover beside me, collaboration with Barry Manilow. Wilson expanded her visibility with appearances on television (the Cosby show, the Sinbad show) and film (meteor man). Still an avid recording, 1994's Love, Wilson helped to close the divide between rhythm & blues and country western music with her rendition of "I can't make you love me".   Wilson has kept busy as the host of the NPR series jazz profiles and NBC’s walk a mile in my shoes, a look into the ninety-year history of the NAACP.

Throughout her career she involved herself with such projects, always eager to aid and empower those who she felt unfairly disadvantaged.  Nancy Wilson died on December 18, 2018

Reference:
All Media Guide
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