Nancy Wilson Day
February 20, 1937 – December 13, 2018
A tribute to the influential song stylist
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Singer Nancy Wilson was born on February 20, 1937 in Chillicothe, Ohio.
She sang in church choirs and at the age of four knew that she wanted to be a singer.
Wilson won a local talent contest in Columbus, Ohio when she was 15; the prize was appearing on a television show twice a week.
After attending college for one year, she sang with Rusty Bryant’s Carolyn Club Big Band during 1956-58, was discovered by Cannonball Adderley, moved to New York in 1959, and signed with the Capitol label.
Wilson made her finest recordings for Capitol during the next decade, a period that found her at her most jazz-oriented; a highpoint was her classic album with Cannonball Adderley.
Initially influenced by Dinah Washington, Wilson developed her own quietly expressive style; by the time she had her own television series The Nancy Wilson Show in 1967, she was moving away from jazz towards pop and r&b.
Nancy Wilson, who occasionally came back to jazz in special projects, remained a household name for the rest of her life.
She is featured singing “The Very Thought Of You” in 1964 on the Hollywood Palace television series.