The Carolyn Franklin and Nina Simone albums were found in New York during one of my CMJ pilgrimages and just before the year’s end, Merry Clayton’s debut was one of the best Christmas presents I could ever give myself.
To understand why I hunted for that record is to know that The Rolling Stones are my favorite band of all time and that I can’t resist powerful female vocals. I would naturally seek 1960/1970s Rolling Stones sounds whenever possible.
The good people at Harmless Records introduced me to the Merry Clayton cover of Gimme Shelter on their Satisfaction: Covers & Cookies Of The Stones compilation and I have loved it ever since. Last year, DJ Spinna added the Clayton cover to his Strange Games & Funky Things 5 compilation. I believe I saw the Merry Clayton record on vinyl last year for the first time and with the song appearing on Spinna’s CD, that was more than enough fuel to the fire for me to find the record.
Merry Clayton’s debut album was a last minute addition to my want list and I was less pressed to begin a hunt for it. However, the magic of Christmas would in fact work its wonders.
My Merry Clayton research informed me she released an album in 1971. Guess what album took the place of her debut on my want list?
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1. Dave Cortez & The Moon People – Happy Soul (w/a Hook)
2. Ike Turner's Kings Of Rhythm – Funky Mule
3. Bo Diddley – The Shape I'm In
4. Merry Clayton - Gimme Shelter
5. Harmonica Paul – Motherless Child
6. Ramsey Lewis – Mighty Quinn
7. Lonnie Mack - Memphis
8. The George Benson Quartet – Benson's Rider
9. Clarence Carter - Snatching It Back
10. James Brown – Nose Job
11. Five Stairsteps & Cubie – We Must Be In Love
12. David McCallum - The Edge
13. Dyke & The Blazers – You Are My Sunshine
14. Otis Redding - You Left The Water Running
15. Johnnie Taylor - Love Bones
16. The Staples Singers - If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)
17. Wilson Pickett - Take That Pollution Out Your Throat
18. Robert Palmer - Pressure Drop
19. Ken Boothe - My Love
20. Gwen McCrae - 90% Of Me Is You
21. The Illusion - Together
22. Norman Greenbaum - Spirit In The Sky
23. Patrice Rushen - Givin' It Up Is Givin' Up
24. Herbie Hancock - Watermelon Man
25. Buddy Miles - Down By The River
26. Donovan - Season Of The Witch
27. Gary Bartz NTU Troop - Celestial Blues