An under-appreciated gem from the Southside of Chicago, Oscar "43 Street" Wilson is part Muddy Waters, part Cedric the Entertainer and a true crowd igniter. Standing over 6'3" tall and weighing over 300 pounds, this larger-than-life front man carries on in the tradition of the great Chicago bluesmen like the Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Rogers, and Muddy Waters.
Wilson was born in Chicago, Illinois on 43rd and Wells in the 1940's and has spent his life living and playing the blues in Chicago and Mississippi. Oscar grew up in a musical family; his father was a jazz, blues, and gospel musician and composer and performed with Nat King Cole. Oscar made his musical debut at age 11 singing at a house party with his neighbor, the legendary Dave "Honey Boy" Edwards. In his youth, Oscar immersed himself in the Chicago blues culture and taught himself guitar, piano, drums and harmonica. Throughout his adult life, Oscar frequented blues clubs in Chicago and Mississippi and performed with Chicago blues mainstays like Johnny B. Moore and Melvin Taylor.
The addition of Wilson to the Cash Box Kings lineup only intensifies the Kings' musical connection with the great postwar Chicago blues sounds of the 1940's and 50's. There are few other front men working today that can work a crowd quite like Wilson. His huge physical presence, his incredibly powerful and expressive voice, and his authentic, colorful, humorous, and dynamic stage performances are guaranteed to whip any audience into a frenzy. "Playing with the Kings has been the thrill of a lifetime for me! I'm really grateful to be making music with such accomplished young musicians," says Wilson.
(Photo by Aigars Lapsa)