Nancy Wilson Biography
Nancy Wilson (born February 20, 1937) is an American singer whose sixty-plus albums have blended jazz and pop music. She currently hosts a jazz radio program on NPR, Jazz Profiles.
Wilson was born in Chillicothe, Ohio. At age 15, she won a local talent contest, the prize for which was her own television series, "Skyline Melodies," on a local station.
In 1956, she joined Rusty Bryant's Carolyn Club Band and made her first recording for Dot Records.
While performing in Columbus, Ohio, Wilson had an opportunity to sit in with Cannonball Adderley, who sensed her potential and helped her to get her a manager, John Levy. This led to the recording contract at Capitol Records.
At Capitol, Wilson's first recording was "Like In Love". She scored her first big hit in 1962 with Cannonball Adderley and "Save Your Love For Me."
By the mid-1960s, Wilson had become one of the label's best-selling artists, second only to the Beatles. In 1964, she won a Grammy Award for "How Glad I Am" and an Emmy Award for her 1967-68 NBC series, The Nancy Wilson Show. She also made guest appearances on variety shows hosted by Ed Sullivan, Carol Burnett and Dean Martin.
In 1983, she won the Tokyo Song Festival and went on to cut five successful albums for Japanese labels.
Back in the United States, she began her association with Columbia Records in 1984, collaborating with such artists as Ramsey Lewis and working on an album of previously-unpublished Johnny Mercer lyrics set to the music by co-producer Barry Manilow, "With My Lover Beside Me." (1991).
In the 1990s, Wilson began acting on a regular basis, appearing on The Sinbad Show and The Bill Cosby Special on television and in such films as Robert Townsend's Meteor Man.
She was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1999.
In 2001, she released her first Christmas recording, A Nancy Wilson Christmas, after moving to Manchester Craftsmen's Guild (MCG) Jazz. She won a Grammy for R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal) in 2005. Her latest album, Turned to Blue, was released in August, 2006.