Nancy Wilson (singer)

Nancy Wilson (singer)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Nancy Wilson

Img_capt =Photo from the National Endowment of the Arts
Img_size = 150
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Nancy Sue Wilson
Born = birth date and age|1937|2|20
Died =
Origin = Chillicothe, Ohio, USA
Genre = Blues
Soul|Occupation = Vocalist
Associated_acts = Ramsey Lewis
George Shearing
Cannonball Adderley
James Ingram
Hank Jones
Billy Taylor
Label = MCG Jazz, Capitol, Blue Note
URL = [ Miss Nancy Wilson]
Years_active = 1956 – present

Nancy Wilson (born February 20, 1937) is an American singer with seventy-plus albums, and three Grammy Awards so far in her career. She's been labeled a singer of blues, jazz, cabaret and pop; a "consummate actress"; and "the complete entertainer." The title she prefers, however, is song stylist. [ [ Nancy Wilson, NPR Biography] ] She has received many nicknames--"Sweet Nancy, The Baby" and the "Fancy Miss Nancy" are only two of them. [Ebony (Magazine/Journal), March 1, 2007 "Nancy Wilson" (Center Stage) (Biography)]


Nancy Wilson was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, February 20, 1937 to Olden Wilson (iron foundry worker), and Lillian Ryan. [ [ NNDB data base] ] Nancy's father would buy records to listen to in the home. At an early age Nancy heard recordings from Billy Eckstine, Nat Cole, and Jimmy Scott with Lionel Hampton's Big Band. Nancy says: "The juke joint down on the block had a great jukebox and there I heard Dinah Washington, Ruth Brown, LaVerne Baker, Little Esther". [ [ Nancy Wilson: 2004 NEA Jazz Master] ] By the age of four, she knew she would eventually become a singer.

At the age of 15, while a student at West High School (Columbus, Ohio), she was chosen to represent the school in a talent contest sponsored by local television station WTVN. She won. The prize was an appearance on a twice-a-week television show, "Skyline Melodies", which she ended up hosting. [ [ Nancy Wilson] ] She also worked every club on the east side and north side of Columbus, Ohio, from the age of 15 until she graduated from West High School, at age 17. Nancy first attracted notice performing the club circuit in nearby Columbus.

Unsure of her future as an entertainer, she entered college to pursue teaching credentials. She spent one year at Ohio's Central State College before dropping out and following her original ambitions. She auditioned and won a spot with Rusty Bryant's Carolyn Club Band in 1956.


Wilson moved to New York City in 1956, where she met jazz alto saxophonist Julian Cannonball Adderley in a recording session. She wanted Cannonball’s manager John Levy to represent her, and she wanted Capitol Records as her label. Within four weeks of her arrival in New York she got her first big break, a call to fill in for Irene Reid at "The Blue Morocco". The club booked Wilson on a permanent basis; she was singing four nights a week and working as a secretary fot the New York Institute of Technology during the day. John Levy sent demos "Guess Who I Saw Today", "Sometimes I’m Happy", and two other songs to Capitol. Capitol Records signed her in 1960.

Nancy’s debut single, "Guess Who I Saw Today", was so successful that between April 1960 and July 1962 Capitol Records released five Nancy Wilson albums, and a 1962 album with Adderley propelled her to national prominence. In 1963 "Tell Me The Truth" became her first truly major hit, leading up to her performance at the Coconut Grove in 1964 – the turning pointing of her career garnering critical acclaim from coast to coast. [ [ Nancy's own bio] ] It was covered in Time magazine, "She is, all at once, both cool and sweet, both singer and storyteller". [ [,9171,875977,00.html Time Magazine, "Wilson, Female Vocal"] , Friday, July 17, 1964]

After doing numerous television guest appearances, Wilson eventually got her own series on NBC, "The Nancy Wilson Show" (1967-1968), that won an Emmy in 1975. [ [ Biography] ] Over the years she has appeared on many popular television shows from I Spy (more or less playing herself as a Las Vegas singer in the 1966 episode "Lori"); Room 222; Hawaii Five-O; Police Story, The Jack Paar Program; The Sammy Davis, Jr. Show (1966); The Danny Kaye Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour; Kraft Music Hall (TV series); The Cosby Show; The Andy Williams Show, The Carol Burnett Show, Soul Food (TV series), New York Undercover; and recently Moesha; and The Parkers. [ [ Nancy's website] ] [ [ IMDB Database] ] She was in the 1993 Robert Townsend's "The Meteor Man".

She was signed by Capitol records in the late 70s and in an attempt to broaden her appeal she cut the album 'Life, Love and Harmony' an album of soulful, funky dance cuts that included the track 'Sunshine' which was to become one of her most sought after recordings be it amongst supporters of the rare soul scence for whom she would not usually register.

In 1982 she signed with CBS, her albums here including "The Two Of Us" (1984), duets with Ramsey Lewis produced by Stanley Clarke; "Forbidden Lover" (1987), including the title track duet with Carl Anderson; and "A Lady With A Song", which became her 52nd album release in 1989.

In the late 1990s, Nancy teamed up with MCG Jazz, a youth education programs of the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, [ [ Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild] ] nonprofit, minority-directed, arts and learning organization located in Pittsburgh, PA. "A Nancy Wilson Christmas", released for the 2001, all proceeds from the sale went directly to support the programs of MCG Jazz. [ [ "A Nancy Wilson Christmas" CD is a charitable project] ] Wilson was the host on "Jazz Profiles", [ [ Jazz Profiles (now available as a podcast] ] from 1996 to 2005. It was a jazz radio program on National Public Radio, Washington, D.C., during the show's run from 1996-2005. This series profiled the legends and legacy of jazz through music, interviews and commentary. Wilson and the program were the recipients of the George Foster Peabody Award in 2001. [ [ 2001 Peabody goes to Jazz Profiles] ]

Nancy’s second and third album with MCG Jazz, "R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal)", and "Turned to Blue" won Grammy Awards in 2005 and 2007, respectively.

Awards and honors

In 1993, received an award from the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in 1993; the NAACP Image Award - Hall of Fame Award in 1998, and was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1999. Nancy has received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991, at 6541 Hollywood Blvd. [List of stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame] Received honorary degrees from the Berklee School of Music and Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Wilson has a street named after her in her hometown of Chillicothe, Ohio.

Wilson was the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts, NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships award in 2004, the highest honors that the United States government bestows upon jazz musicians. [ [ The National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowships] ] The 2004 NAACP Image Awards for Best Recording Jazz Artist. In 2005, the UNCF Trumpet Award celebrating African-American achievement, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAACP in Chicago, and Oprah Winfrey’s Legends Award.

In September, 2005 Nancy was inducted on the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. Wilson was a major figure in civil rights marches of the 1960s. Nancy Wilson said, “This award means more to me than anything else I have ever received.” [ [ Footsteps of Civil Rights Leaders Placed in International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site] ], August 20, 2006: "It's been a long career for the polished Wilson, whose first albums appeared in the 1960s, and she faces that truth head-on in such numbers as "These Golden Years" and "I Don't Remember Ever Growing Up". Shorter breathed these days, she can still summon a warm, rich sound and vividly tell a song's story. With a big band behind her in "Taking a Chance on Love", she also shows there's plenty of fire in her autumnal mood". [ [,9171,1229100,00.html 6 Jazz Singers Worth A Listen] ]

At the Hollywood Bowl, August 29, 2007, Nancy Wilson celebrated her 70th birthday with an all-star event hosted by Arsenio Hall. Ramsey Lewis and his trio performed “To Know Her Is To Love Her”. (Lewis and Wilson have recorded over 150 albums together.) Other appearances were Nnenna Freelon, Regina Carter, Patti Austin, Natalie Cole, James Ingram, and other artists. [ [ The Glamour Lives On For Grammy Award Winning Vocalist Nancy Wilson at 70th Birthday Celebration] (Retrieved September 15, 2007)] [ [ Nancy Wilson 70th Birthday Celebration] ]

Grammy history

*Career Wins: 3
*Career Nominations: 20 [ [ Thursday, March 1, 2007, "Music Preview: Another side of Nancy Wilson"] (Retrieved August 19, 2007)]

elective discography



* [ Music Preview: Another side of Nancy Wilson] (March 01, 2007)
* [ 2004 NEA Jazz Master Interview]

External links

* [ Nancy Wilson's website]
* [ Billboard Chart History for Nancy Wilson]
*imdb name|id=0933897|name=Nancy Wilson
* [ Nancy Wilson] at [ Wenig-Lamonica Associates]

ee also

*Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album

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