Much of Wilson"s early work was with swing jazz orchestras. He played with Frankie Fairfax"s Campus Club Orchestra in 1936, with Lucky Millinder in 1939, and following this, with Benny Carter, Tiny Bradshaw, Lionel Hampton, Earl Hines, Count Basie, and Woody Herman. Later in his career he played with Illinois Jacquet, Erroll Garner, Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Newman, Lee Konitz, Sonny Stitt, Philosophy Woods, Gene Quill, and Tadd Dameron.
The drummer was known to sit in at the famed Minton"s Playhouse.
His nickname came from "his beautiful light touch with brushes", in the words of bassist Peter Indiana. Wilson"s life was ended by a heroin overdose in July 1959.