Years Of Protection

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Monday 29th June 2015

Backing music veteran Merry Clayton speaks about her life

THE BACKING singer and occasional soloist Merry Clayton, the pastor's daughter who became a top session singer, has been interviewed in the July issue of Record Collector magazine. In the article she spoke about hearing a Ray Charles record in 1961: "I knew exactly what I wanted to do and I knew exactly who I wanted to do it with. I would pray at night and say, 'Oh God, please let me sing with Ray Charles'." Clayton went on to sing with Ray Charles, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson and The Rolling Stones. In the DVD documentary 20 Feet From Stardom Mick Jagger payed tribute to Clayton's prodigious vocal talent. Asked about the sales failure of her own solo records Merry responded, "When those records didn't do what I thought they were going to, it was only God saying 'Not yet.' It was delayed, but it wasn't denied. I kept on saying in my soul and my spirit that it's not time yet. And that when it is time, God will reveal it. Sometimes you can be covered under his wing until he wants to unleash you. It could be for your own safety or for your own protection. But I feel like I was protected all these years from something." CR

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