“Sultans of Swing” is a song that spanned the whole world, the song with many performances by various artists and bands, and the countless performances by Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler made this song to be forever in the memories of the fans and their hearts, and it will never be forgotten.
There is no doubt that Mark Knopfler wrote this song in 1977. He made this song to be specific and unique for Dire Straits and of course, he made this song to be in the fit style of the band.
Today we would like to share an interesting video and story about the singer and songwriter from Lebanon, Indiana, the USA, Bill Wilson who unfortunately died from a heart attack at the age of 46, (March 14, 1947- November 25, 1993).
Namely, Bill Wilson was an American singer-songwriter, folk, rock, and country musician. By the many facts, he claimed that he wrote the lyrics of “Sultans of Swing.” Wilson did not get a songwriting credit on the release, but he claimed to have received some monetary compensation for his input.
Wilson often told the story at the concerts about this song. Also, one production company recorded a CD with 24 songs with various artists on it between 1989-1995. At one of those songs Wilson was identified only as “B. Wilson” where he performed the song “Sultans of Swing.”
The video below is uploaded on YouTube 11-years-ago (2009). During, Bill Wilson had his live performance somewhere in Indianapolis, the USA in 1991 before he started playing on his acoustic guitar, strumming Spanish style and singing “Sultans,” he said:
“I do this thing I co-wrote about, I guess, it’s been about 12-years-ago I wrote the lyrics and a friend of mine used to work a lot of sessions for my old producer, Bob Johnston, and worked a session with this fellow from England by the name of Mark Knopfler. He has his own group over there called Dire Straits. He had this little melody, it sounded like ‘Walk, Don’t Run.’ And he had this little story concerning a band that nobody wanted to listen to, only a few people show up to hear. So we got together one night after the session and tossed these lyrics around on a napkin and I guess I wound up writing most of the lyrics to the tune. I made enough money to buy a new Blazer that year I remember, so… didn’t do too bad. It goes like this…”
The lyrics are pretty close to what Mark Knopfler recorded but are slightly different. Mark Knopfler has never mention of him, and Bill is not credited for any contribution to the song. Enjoy and give us your opinion about this performance!