Frank Wilson
Frank Wilson

Frank Wilson

About Frank Wilson

Frank Wilson (b. 1942) grew up in South Central Los Angeles in a house with a piano and musically talented siblings. His father, Thomas, managed the Velvetones, and Frank's sister Ruth married one of the members. The younger Wilsons -- Thomas, Frank, Henry, Vance, and Virginia -- formed the Wil-Sons, a harmony group modeled after the Four Aces, the Ames Brothers, and the Ink Spots They worked the clubs; and waxed a single, thanks to a hookup with L.A.'s legendary record lady Madelon Baker, that never left the 'hood, entitled "Let Me Love You" b/w "Come on Mama," for Highland Records (1961).
Economics break up marriages and disband groups, even family groups, and the Wil-Sons were soon a fond memory. Frank, the most ambitious of the brood, found staff-writing gigs at companies like Del-Fi Records, that paid a laughable 40 dollars a week wages. The siblings regrouped in 1965 as the Remarkables on Baker's Audio Arts label, with smoothies like the Incredibles. The Remarkables were Frank, Vance, Henry, and non-relative David Cason. They cut three good but unremarkable singles (actually two, the second was re-released with an instrumental flip): "Is the Feeling Still There" b/w "Easily Mislead," and "I Can't Give Up" b/w "You Wouldn't Have Anything" -- Frank and Vance handled the leads. The records didn't get far, but they were able to work the clubs.
In the '60s, he wrote some songs for Motown artists, which cause many to confuse him with a more famous Frank Wilson who also wrote for Motown; in addition, both had a connection with Hal Davis. Adding to the perplexity, both Wilsons recorded, albeit briefly, for Motown. This Frank Wilson performs (unaccredited) on "Oh How I Miss You" (written by Hal Davis, Frank, and Vance) with Tammi Terrell, on Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's United album. The other Frank Wilson recorded "Do I Love You (Deed I Do)," which did nothing in the States, but is an extremely popular and rare favorite with the Northern soul club.
With Vance, he recorded for Revue Records as Frankie Vance, pumping out two singles in 1969: "Can't Break the Habit of Love" and "Somewhere in Your Life." He finally received some acclaim when he started writing songs with Barry White, a lifelong friend, in the '70s. ~ Andrew Hamilton

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