Jackie Wilson’s “Reet Petite (The Sweetest Girl in Town)” was released on this day in 1957

The song that allowed Berry Gordy to start Motown

Jackie Wilson’s “Reet Petite (The Sweetest Girl in Town)” was released on this day in 1957

“Reet Petite (The Sweetest Girl in Town)” was Jackie Wilson’s first recording as a solo artist after leaving the Dominoes and, over the years, has become one of his biggest international chart successes. The song was written by Berry Gordy, Gwen Gordy Fuqua and Wilson’s cousin Roquel “Billy”Davis. The song peaked at #62 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1957 and reached #6 on the UK Singles Chart. With the success of the song, Gordy was able to fund the launch of Motown Records. The reissued version proved so popular that in December 1986, almost three years after Wilson’s death, the song became a No. 1 in the UK for four weeks, some 29 years after its chart debut and overall worldwide, becoming simultaneously one of the 50’s and 80’s most memorable songs. This was the record for the longest time between a song’s debut on the chart and it reaching number one. The clay animation video used was only ever meant for a showreel, this one verse was cut out of the song on the music video.

Look back at the famous clay animation video of “Reet Petite”

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