Reet Petite

Album: Greatest Hits Of Jackie Wilson (1957)
Charted: 1 62

Songfacts®:

  • This was written by Berry Gordy and Tyran Carlo (Roquel "Billy" Davis). The royalties from this song (and two hits by Marv Johnson) enabled Gordy to borrow the money needed to start up Motown Records. It also taught him much about the business of music, as he learned the value of royalties and how they can be manipulated.
  • This was the first chart single for Wilson, a native of Detroit. He had been in the group The Dominoes, but this was his first release as a solo artist.
  • The title comes from a Louis Jordan movie with an all-black cast called Reet, Petite, and Gone.
  • In 1986, this was re-released in the UK and rocketed to #1 after millions of Britons saw a Miller beer commercial featuring a plasticine-animated Jackie Wilson singing this song.
  • Van Morrison wrote and recorded a song called "Jackie Wilson Said," which was covered by Dexys Midnight Runners. The first line in that song is: "Well, Jackie Wilson said, it was Reet Petite..."
  • In British slang, "Reet" means "Righteous."
  • This song holds the record for taking the longest time to reach #1 in the UK. Released in 1957, it finally topped the charts in 1986. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ray - Nuneaton, United Kingdom

Comments: 5

  • Dave from DoncasterWhere im from reet means right as in thas reet
  • Graham Wing from Southend-on-seaOriginally from the film “the sweetest girl in town” look at the original Coral single! Reissues left off “from the film” making it look like it was part of the title
  • DjHe is saying "look-a-here", not lookabell.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 4, 1957, Jackie Wilson performed "Reet Petite (The Prettiest Girl You Ever Wanna Meet)" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV weekday-afternoon program 'American Bandstand'...
    Sixteen days later on Oct. 20th it entered Billboard's Top 100 chart at position #93, two weeks later it would peak at #62 {for 2 weeks} and it spent 10 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #6 on the United Kingson's National Music Express chart, twenty-nine years later in 1986 it re-entered the chart, and on December 21st, 1986 it peaked at #1 {for 4 weeks}...
    Between 1957 and 1972 he had fifty-four records on the Top 100 chart, six* made the Top 10 with his biggest hit being "Night", it peaked at #4 {for 2 weeks} on May 9th, 1960...
    His five other Top 10 records were "Lonely Teardrops" {#7 in 1959}, "Alone At Last" {#8 in 1960}, "My Empty Arms" {#9 in 1961}, and "Baby Workout" {#5 in 1963}, and "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher" {#6 in 1967}...
    Five of his fifty-four charted records were duets; two with Linda Hopkins, two with Count Basie, and one with LaVern Baker...
    Sadly, Jackie Wilson passed away on January 21st, 1984 at the young age of 49...
    May he R.I.P.
    * He just missed having a seventh Top 10 record when "Whispers (Gettin' Louder)" peaked at #11 in 1966.
  • Carol from Ipswich Uk, United StatesJackie was with Billy Wards Dominoes from 1953 to 1957. The song Reet Petite was featured in the film Corina Corina 1994 Regards Reet P.
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