Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Songs I Thought I Owned But I Didn't: #1 Reet Petite

The other day I went searching through my digital library for a song I was certain was in there... but it turned out it wasn't. (It is now, thanks to emusic.) This happens on a semi-occasional basis, so I thought I'd make another as-and-when series about it.

1. Jackie Wilson - Reet Petite

Originally released in 1957, shortly after Jackie Wilson left The Dominoes, this was his first solo hit. Written by Berry Gordy, Gwen Fuqua (no comment) and Jackie's cousin Roquel "Billy" Davis (that's some nickname, Roquel), its title came from a Louis Jordan numberReet, Petite and Gone. Despite what I claimed on a recent Saturday Snapshots, it appears to have nothing to do with small French Geordies. But it did have a big impact on Gordy. Apparently, he made so much money from this song, he was able to launch Motown. And the rest is history...

Of course, my first exposure to Reet Petite was in the latter part of 1986 when it was re-issued accompanied by the above claymation video... featuring questionable racial caricaturing that looks quite insensitive today. At risk of sounding right-on, I never really liked the video, but I did love the song. It was the Christmas Number One in 1986, and if it wasn't for Don't You Want Me? by the Human League (and... possibly... the Pet Shop Boys' cover of Always On My Mind), I'd argue it was the best Christmas Number One of the 80s. I bought it on 7".... but my 45s are long gone. Still, I was sure I had this digitally in my collection somewhere.

Turns out though, that it's not on the 18 track Jackie Wilson Best Of (Higher & Higher: 18 Soul Sensations), nor does it crop up on any other soul or Northern soul comp I own. Well, I've got it now. Clearly I need to expand my Jackie Wilson collection some more...

Ever come across any songs you were CERTAIN you owned... but then were horrified to find you didn't?


  1. What a voice and what a sad end for Jackie.

  2. The collection, physical and digital, has ebbed and flowed so much over the years, that I'm often not certain exactly what I do have. I'm very envious of those blogging chums who've set the whole thing down onto spreadsheets. It's on my list of things to do, but I know that I'll never get around to it.

  3. I'm trying to use Discogs to do that Swede but it is taking a very long time.

  4. A song that repeated exposure to the video almost ruined.....but the voice is just too good for that to happen.

    I've found myself occasionally searching for b-sides to go with posts over the years and wondering where the 7" or 12" single has disappeared to....and then I remember that I had bought the thing on CD only....and that at some point I've loaned it out and not got it back! Happened most recently with a Belle & Sebastian EP but thankfully I found a second hand copy going cheap on Discogs and was able to replace it.


  5. I ended up sharing that Jackie Wilson song at the start of 2017 as I came up with a post that seemed to be all about years ending in a 7 - No 1 in 1987, written in 1957, start of 2017 etc. (It made sense at the time, honest). Was not as right-on as you then, as didn't spot back in '87 that the animation was questionable. I now see what you mean but what do we do with older material? - Can't erase it all, the lyrics, the visuals etc. Will leave it in at the moment but I do really like that clip you've used above.

    As for the music libraries, after starting blogging I finally got round to alphabetising all the CDs in the house (including DDs). Had got fed up of always having to buy the song I was writing about when I knew I had it on a CD, somewhere. That worked well until the end of last year when the other half had to upgrade his computer and it no longer has a disc drive! Sacre bleu. Frustrated that other than an old DVD player attached to the telly I have no means of playing CDs now or of uploading tracks to the computer. Have been curious as to what you guys do in such cases as although you must have vast digital libraries, you must upload occasionally from CD? Don't want to end up re-buying everything on iTunes!?

    1. My computer is very old and on its last legs. If I ever had the money to upgrade, I would have to have a cd drive, both for uploading and burnings CDs for the car. (Louise's new car has no CD player, just a socket for a memory stick... But I'm a good few years away from owning a car like that). I do know that you can buy CD drives that attach to your pc via USB. I have a mini disc player and even a cassette player that does the same... Though I've never actually got round to using them. (See THe Swede's comment above.)

    2. Yes I think a CD drive it will have to be - Feels so old school now but seems mad to have alphabetised all the CDs then have nothing to upload them with. Thanks.


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