Friday, January 7, 2011

Mary McCreary - Singing The Blues (Raggae)

The Jezebel LP
I don't think I post that upbeat sound often enough. By 'upbeat' I mean rocksteady, ska, roots rock, lovers rock, dance hall or the like. So, this is something in that vein. But, more of a hippy soul oddity really. Aside from her gorgeousity Mary was just that, a prolific hippy soul chic. She married Leon Russell and put out albums as Leon and Mary. Leon definitely contributed to her branching out and becoming even more experimental as Leon was quite the freak. I don't know the story behind this tune, but it certainly sounds like it was recorded with some of the original Trojan Label records guys.

The 'real' amazing story behind Mary is that besides her hailing from the Bay Area (We love it! - another fine Oakland/SF story!) she was in the amazing Sly Stone side project band Little Sister. She was born in San Francisco and got involved in the gospel music scene. She then recorded with a group called the Heavenly Tones. It was rumored that she was traveling down to L.A. and being courted to perform and record with James Cleveland and various gospel projects. Then she was involved with providing backing vocals for Sly Stone. Little Sister released a few 45's in the early 70's and they are ALL incredible. And, so is her entire catalog. She's been known as Mary Rand, Mary Russell, and Mary McCreary but, make no mistake about it, to name her body of work anything but 'genius' would be a mistake.

The Amazing Mary McCreary

Mary made a huge contribution to many flavors of soul music and was unconstricted by any usual limits. Her soothing and sweet vocal style works well with whatever project she dabbled in. This tune from the Jezebel LP is a fine example. She made her mark on any style she touched. This is an unusual brand of hippy soul meets rocksteady reggae.

Little Sister on Stone Flower Records
We will eventually get around to exposing more of Mary's catalog and definitely want to do a post on the amazing Little Sister.

Mary McCreary - Singing The Blues (Raggae)

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