The band cutting up on the bus, and playing for a live German television show in 1968. Curtis Pope (trumpet) is the guy cutting up on the bus.
The Midnight Movers backing band Wilson Pickett.
The Midnight Movers are a powerhouse of authentic soul and Motown sounds, led by the dynamic trumpeter and vocalist Curtis Pope.
There are arguably no continuously working groups more intertwined with American soul music. Like the "Funk Brothers" - the collective of musicians who played on all the recording sessions at Motown Records, the Midnight Movers made their mark behind the scenes, backing up, touring with, producing, and arranging many of the genre's most famous artists. You've heard the famous wah pedal guitar work of original member Charles "Skip" Pitts on Isaac Hayes' "Theme to Shaft," as well as Curtis Pope's signature horn lines on the Isley Brothers crossover hit, "It's Your Thing." The band produced legendary Stax vocal duo, Sam & Dave, and its members have recorded with countless groups in all the major centers of American Soul music--Detroit, New York, Memphis, and Muscle Shoals--receiving national acceptance in an era marked by distinct regional sounds.
The band is perhaps most famous, however, for its decades-long collaboration with "Wicked" Wilson Pickett. It was on the road with Pickett that the band perfected its compelling stage show with high-stepping choreography, seamless medleys, and playful approach to performance. Wilson Pickett's famous song, "I'm a Midnight Mover" was the inspiration for the band's name--a name under which the band released two full-length records of their own--'Follow the Wind' (1964) and 'Do it in the Road' (1970). "Wilson Pickett and the Midnight Movers" performed all over the world until 1997, when the Movers struck out on their own. Since then, the Movers have continued to hone their reputation as the best live soul band in the world playing outdoor festivals, weddings, corporate events, and private engagements of all kinds.
Wilson Pickett (March 18, 1941 – January 19, 2006) was an American R&B/rock and roll and soul singer and songwriter.
A major figure in the development of American soul music, Pickett recorded over 50 songs which made the US R&B charts, and frequently crossed over to the US Billboard Hot 100. Among his best known hits are "In the Midnight Hour" (which he co-wrote), "Land of 1,000 Dances", "Mustang Sally", and "Funky Broadway".
The impact of Pickett's songwriting and recording led to his 1991 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Pickett died from a heart attack on January 19, 2006 in Reston, Virginia. He was 64. He was buried in Louisville, Kentucky. The eulogy was delivered by Pastor Steve Owens of Decatur, Georgia. Little Richard, a long-time friend of Pickett's, spoke about him and preached briefly at the funeral.Pickett spent many years in Louisville when his mother moved there from Alabama. He was remembered on March 20, 2006, at New York's B.B. King Blues Club with performances by the Commitments, Ben E King, his long-term backing band the Midnight Movers, soul singer Bruce "Big Daddy" Wayne, and Southside Johnny in front of an audience that included members of his family, including two brothers.