Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#23) and R&B (#6); 1967

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

After scoring a #6 R&B hit (I Found A Love) with the Falcons in 1962, and a solo one (It’s Too Late) a year later, Wilson Pickett was now two failed singles into a new deal with Atlantic Records and feeling the heat. All that was about to change. In May of 1965, Pickett went into Stax studios in Memphis and laid down In The Midnight Hour and Don’t Fight It. Midnight Hour became an R&B #1 and Don’t Fight It reached #4. Pickett’s second #1, 634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.), spent seven weeks on top in the spring of 1966 and his third #1, Land Of 1000 Dances, came just four-and-a-half months later. Pickett’s latest chart topper had been recorded at Fame in Muscle Shoals, where he also laid down a tune written by ex-Falcon, Mack Rice. Mustang Sally was almost done when the master spun off the machine and broke into a hundred pieces. Master engineer Tom Dowd patiently spliced Sally back together, saving her for posterity.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Jerry Wexler
  • Rick Hall

Lyrics Written by:

  • Mack Rice