Original U.S. issue of "Reet Petite"
|Single by Jackie Wilson|
|from the album He's So Fine|
|Format||Vinyl record 45rpm (7"), 78rpm (10")|
|Genre||R&B / Soul|
|Label||Brunswick US (1957) 9-55024
Coral UK (1957) Q 72290
SMP UK (1985) SKM 3
BR Music Belgium (1985) 1245095
Columbia US (1987) 07329
Carrere France (1987) 72012
|Writer(s)||Berry Gordy, Roquel Billy Davis|
|Jackie Wilson singles chronology|
"Reet Petite (The Sweetest Girl in Town)" (originally subtitled The Finest Girl You Ever Want to Meet) is a song made popular by Jackie Wilson. It was his first solo hit after leaving the legendary R&B group the Dominoes and, over the years, has become one of his biggest international chart successes.
The song was written by Berry Gordy and Wilson's cousin Roquel "Billy" Davis (though credited under his pseudonym Tyran Carlo on the record) and produced by Dick Jacobs, and its title was taken from the Louis Jordan song "Reet, Petite and Gone". It was Jackie Wilson's first recording as a solo artist. The song peaked at #62 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1957 and reached #6 on the UK singles chart. With the success of the song, Gordy was able to fund the launch of Motown Records.
The reissued version proved so popular that in December 1986, almost three years after Wilson's death, the song became a #1 in the UK for four weeks, some 29 years after its chart debut. This was the record for the longest time between a song's debut on the chart and it reaching number one, until it was overtaken by Tony Christie's "(Is This the Way to) Amarillo" in 2005.
|A||"Reet Petite (The Finest Girl You Ever Want to Meet)"||2:40|
|B||"By the Light of the Silvery Moon"||2:17|
|A||"Reet Petite (The Sweetest Girl in Town)"||2:40|
|B1||"You Brought about a Change in Me"||2:46|
|B2||"I'm the One to Do It"||2:34|
|Billboard Hot 100||September 1957||#62|
|United Kingdom||November 1957||#6|
|United Kingdom||November 1986||#1 (4 weeks)|
|Ireland||December 21, 1986||#1 |
|The Netherlands||February 14, 1987||#1 (2 weeks)|
|Switzerland||March 8, 1987||#3 |
|Austria||March 15, 1987||#3 |
|France||April 11, 1987||#24 |
|Germany||March 1987||#4 |
|Norway||February 1987||#5 |
|New Zealand||May 31, 1987||#4 |
- The song was covered in 1963 by Dee Dee Sharp.
- The song was covered in September 1964 by Dinah Lee and reached the #1 position in New Zealand  and a #6 position in Melbourne (Australia did not have a national chart yet).
- The song was covered in 1972 by Shakin' Stevens and the Sunsets
- The song was covered in 1979 by Darts (band)
- The song was covered in 2006 by Colin James, on the album Colin James & The Little Big Band 3
- The song is covered in Neil Innes and Fatso's 2008 UK tour: it is sung by guitarist Billy Bremner
- The song was covered in 2009 by Si Cranstoun, on the album Get lively
- This song is mentioned in the lyrics of the Van Morrison song "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile)" from his 1972 album, Saint Dominic's Preview.
- This song is mentioned in the lyrics of the David Bowie song "Red Money"
- This song is mentioned in the lyrics of the Marah song "Christian Street"
- This song is mentioned in the lyrics of the Warrant song "In The Sticks"
- This song was covered by Cee-Lo Green in 2011 for Jools Holland's Hootenanny
- This song was covered by Marcus Collins in 2011 in the Eight Series of The X Factor UK
- This song was covered by The Overtones in 2012, on their new album 'Higher'
- Stichting Nederlandse Top 40, 500 nr.1 hits uit de Top 40, page 235, 9023009444 (Book in Dutch)
- Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 25 - The Soul Reformation: Phase two, the Motown story. [Part 4]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu.
- Number One's of the eighties (Accessed November 7, 2009)
- IrishCharts.ie Irish chart search (Accessed: November 2, 2006)
- "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 7, 1987". Retrieved March 10, 2008.
- Official Swiss Charts (Accessed October 8, 2006)
- Official Austrian Charts "Reet Petite" page. Note: This is a biweekly chart (Accessed October 8, 2006)
- Official French Charts (Accessed November 16, 2009)
- Infinity Charts German Top 20 - The Chart Of March 1987 (Accessed November 2, 2006)
- Norwegian Charts "Reet Petite" page (Accessed October 29, 2006)
-  "Reet Petite" page (Accessed October 22, 2011)
- ABC Australia Dinah Lee artist page. (Accessed October 8, 2006)
- Australian Pop Archives "Reet Petite" page. (Accessed October 8, 2006)
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December 21, 1986
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