Heart  is an American rock band that first found success in Canada and later in the United States and worldwide.  The constant center of the group since 1974 is sisters Ann Wilson (lead singer) and Nancy Wilson (guitarist).  Heart rose to fame in the mid-1970s with music influenced by hard rock and heavy metal as well as folk music.  To date, Heart has sold over 35 million records worldwide, including over 22.5 million in album sales in the U.S.  With Top 10 albums on the Billboard Album Chart in the 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s, and 2010’s, Heart is among the most commercially enduring hard rock bands in history.  They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.  (More from Wikipedia)



Many women perform with their sisters in order to have company in otherwise all-male bands, and that is true of Heart, one of the most successful and longest-lived hard rock bands in history.  This is another band that would have been a good one to add to the discussion some months back about bands with a hidden history.  Everyone thinks of lead vocalist Ann Wilson and her sister, guitarist and vocalist Nancy Wilson when they think of Heart; but actually, Heart began in Vancouver, British Columbia all the way back in 1963, when bass guitarist Steve Fossen and guitarist brothers Roger Fisher and Mike Fisher started a band initially called the Army that later took the name White Heart.  The Wilson sisters became romantically involved with the Fisher brothers – Ann with Mike, and Nancy with Roger – and Nancy Wilson officially joined the band in 1974 following shortly by Ann Wilson.  After Mike Fisher became the band’s engineer, keyboardist Howard Leese and drummer Michael Derosier rounded out the band. 


The first album by Heart, Dreamboat Annie was released in 1975 and is one of my favorite albums of the 1970’s.  The album spawned two hit singles, “Magic Man” and “Crazy on You”; but it sounds even better as an album to these ears.  Numerous hit albums followed, with hits that included “Barracuda”, “Dog and Butterfly”, “These Dreams”, “What About Love?”, “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You”, and many more. 


In addition to Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson of Heartthere are a host of Wilsons who have made popular music over the years.  The Beach Boys – “America’s band” according to no less than President Ronald Reagan (whose middle name is Wilson, come to think of it) – was founded in 1961 by Brian Wilson, his brothers Dennis Wilson and Carl Wilson, and their cousin Mike LoveAl Jardine was the one original bandmember not in the family.  Another Nancy Wilson is a top-notch jazz vocalist who started in the 1960’s and frequently crossed over to the R&B and rock charts.  Mary Wilson was one of the founding members of the Supremes; the story of the other bandmembers being eclipsed by lead singer Diana Ross formed the main storyline for the Broadway musical Dreamgirls that later made Jennifer Hudson a star in the film version, Dreamgirls.  Then there are R&B singers Jackie Wilson and Wilson Pickett, country star Gretchen Wilson, comedian and chef Justin Wilson, and many others. 


(November 2013)
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Items:    Heart 
Last edited: March 22, 2021