** This is just a short biographical summary – for the full story, check out this artist’s reviews! **
One of the better Motown writers and producers of the late Sixties and early Seventies, Frank Wilson settled into a similar role to Smokey Robinson at Motown, flown in to manage specific projects (including a disproportionate number of comeback albums or new artist launches) as a guru, a fixer, a reviver of careers. However, unlike Smokey, he never managed to get his parallel recording career off the ground; although he cut several tracks at Motown as a singer, his one and only scheduled Motown 45, Do I Love You (Indeed I Do), was cancelled in controversial and confusing circumstances. It later became a beloved Holy Grail for Northern Soul fans in the UK, as well as the most expensive 7″ in the world to date, the only known extant copies changing hands for up to $40,000 (that’s not a typo – forty thousand dollars).
A Texas native who grew up in California, Frank joined Motown’s West Coast office in LA when it opened, and quickly proved his worth as a writer and producer, often working in conjunction with more experienced heads like Marc Gordon and (especially) the great Hal Davis. He had had several stabs at a recording career on various labels and under various pseudonyms before arriving at Motown, but his true talents really lay away from the microphone. He provided great material and guidance to the 70s Supremes and Eddie Kendricks (formerly of the Temptations), and worked with most of the label’s other top names before eventually leaving in the mid-Seventies to set up his own independent production company before becoming a born-again Christian.
Wilson, who (unlike many rediscovered stars of the Northern Soul scene) lived to discover his stardom in England, flying over for several personal appearances and even making some new recordings, eventually went into semi-retirement from music to concentrate on his religion, becoming a minister of the church and a much-valued motivational speaker. He passed away in 2012.
Review Archive: Frank WILSON (1965)