Wilson's solo career begin with 1957's "Reet Petite", written by the then unknown Berry Gordy, Jr. and recorded on the Brunswick Records label with whom Wilson would remain throughout his career. He had his first top 40 hit in 1958 with "To Be Loved". At the end of that year he had his first big success with "Lonely Teardrops" that went to #7 on the charts. The song, also written by Berry Gordy, Jr. became his signature tune. That same year saw Wilson release his first LP titled ''He's So Fine''.
Wilson's brand of pop-soul and R&B helped him cross over to the mainstream, having several pop hits. His dynamic stage performances earned him the nickname "Mr. Excitement". His performance of "Lonely Teardrops" on the ''Ed Sullivan Show'' is considered one of its classics. In the 1960s, Wilson continued to record singles, many of them operatic, such as "Danny Boy" or "Night", others were up-tempo and exciting, such as "Baby Workout" in 1963. Although married to Frida Hood since 1951, Wilson was a notorious womanizer and was shot and wounded by one of his alleged lovers, Juanita Jones, on February 15, 1961, in a jealous rage as he returned to his apartment with another woman, fashion...