High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Monday, May 1, 2017

Six Degrees Of Clydie King, Part 1: Sweetening Rock Candy With Soul!

 The soulful voice of 


 can be heard on some of 

 the greatest and best known  

 recordings of the 60s and 70s. 

In this two-parter we will play my favorite
game, Six Degrees, as we listen to Texas
born vocalist Clydie King's best work
as a session singer and as a
solo recording artist.


In 1974, Clydie's soaring background vocals
accompanied Lynyrd Skynyrd and helped to
make "Sweet Home Alabama" the southern
rock band's signature song and one of the
most memorable sounds of the decade.

 "Sweet Home Alabama" - Lynyrd Skynyrd 
 (Aug. 1974, highest chart pos. #8) 


Singer, songwriter and record producer
Sherlie Matthews now enters the game.

Sherlie joined Clydie King as
one of the backing vocalists
on "Sweet Home Alabama."


Sherlie also sang background on another
great 70s single, "Take Me in Your Arms
(Rock Me a Little While)" by the Doobie
Brothers, a rockin' remake of the 1968
Motown hit by the Isley Brothers.

 "Take Me in Your Arms 
 (Rock Me a Little While)" 
 The Doobie Brothers 
(June '75, highest pos. #11) 


Now meet session singer Venetta Fields
who joined Sherlie Matthews as a backing
vocalist on "Take Me in Your Arms."


It's a small world after all, because
Venetta, Shirley and Clydie all sang
 backup on "Deacon Blues," the hit
single from Steely Dan's album Aja.

 "Deacon Blues" - Steely Dan 
 (1978, highest chart pos. #19 
 from Sept. 1977 album Aja

As the game of Six Degrees continues we learn
that Venetta was once a member of the Ikettes
as was Clydie King. Clydie was also one of
Ray Charles' female background singers,
The Raelettes. So was Merry Clayton.


Merry Clayton gained fame singing a duet
with Mick Jagger on the Rolling Stones
classic "Gimme Shelter," a track from
the December 1969 album Let It Bleed.

A few months later the Louisiana thrush
released a magnificent and delightfully
churchified solo version. Merry's single
was a minor hit in the U.S. but failed to
chart in the UK. Shoulda been a smash!

 "Gimme Shelter" - Merry Clayton 
 (June 1970, highest chart pos. #73) 


Both Clydie King and Venetta Fields sang
background on "Tumbling Dice," a Jagger-
Richards song that was the first single
released from the Stones' double
album Exile on Main St.

 "Tumbling Dice" - The Rolling Stones 
 (May 1972, highest chart pos. 
 #7 Hot 100/#5 UK) 

Now that you've listened to some of
Clydie King's session work on recordings
released by other artists, let's press RW
and listen to a couple of her solo singles,
 one of which dates back to the mid 50s.



In our Bloggy Award winning series Dueling
Doo-Wops, Dell Rat Ron and I introduced
The Six Teens, a Los Angeles group best
remembered for "A Casual Look," a 1956
hit single that featured 12-year-old Trudy
Williams on lead vocals. Shortly after
the release of that Six Teens record,
13 year old Clydie King waxed a
cover and it was released as a
single with the artist listed as
 Little Clydie and The Teens."

 "A Casual Look" 
 Little Clydie and The Teens 
 (summer 1956, uncharted) 



In the spring of 1963 Clydie released
"Only the Guilty Cry," a single credited
to another pseudo group (Clydie plus
session singers) called Clydie King
and the Sweet Things.

The fab flip side, "By Now," a recording
that reminds me of the Jan Bradley hit
"Mama Didn't Lie," is the one that
caught my ear. This rare relic sold
for $600.00 USED on eBay!

 "By Now" - Clydie King & the Sweet Things 
 (May 1963, B side of "Only the Guilty Cry") 

 In Part 2, Clydie King waxes 

 some of the best Spectorian 

 recordings of the mid 60s. 

  Don't miss it! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. Kathryn AndersonMay 1, 2017 at 3:06 AM

    I never heard of Clydie King or the other women except for Merry Clayton— but they all remind me of that documentary we watched a couple of years ago— I can’t remember the name of it— which focused on the lives and careers of background singers. I know and like all of the rock songs that they sang on— Sweet Home Alabama, Take Me In Your Arms, Deacon Blues, Gimme Shelter and Tumbling Dice. I vaguely remember Merry Clayton’s version of Gimme Shelter. It does sound like she is leading a church choir.

    I also enjoyed listening to Clydie’s earlier works from the 50’s and 60’s. It boggles the mind how much people will pay for a copy of a particular record!

    Thank you for introducing Clydie King and the other female artists. You did a great job of explaining how they are all connected— and I am looking forward to hearing more from Clydie in part two.

    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Thank you very much for being the early bird again this week and leading our discussion of the talented but little known vocalist from Texas, Clydie King.

      Yessum, the 2013 documentary that you are thinking of is called 20 Feet From Stardom, a behind-the-scenes look at little known backup singers, most of them black, who were essentially the unsung heroines of pop and rock. Their voices added an extra touch of soul to some of the most famous rock and pop recordings of the 60s and 70s and made them greater and more memorable than they would have been otherwise. I could have sworn that Clydie King was featured in that documentary, but I can’t find her name in the credits. Perhaps they discussed her contributions during the program but she did not actually appear on camera. Merry Clayton is the only one of the women in this post who was profiled in 20 Feet From Stardom. According to Wiki: "Ithaca Times compared the film (20 Feet From Stardom) to the 2012 book The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret, which focused on uncredited studio musicians during the same era." As you recall, that book was also turned into a fine documentary that you and I watched a while back.

      As for Clydie’s 50s cover of “A Casual Look,” I am amazed at how similar it sounds to the original waxed by the Six Teens.

      Thanks again for reporting in, Kathryn. Clydie King is a wonderful singer and I can’t wait to bring you more examples of her talent when our game of Six Degrees continues in part 2 next time!

  2. That's an amazing amount of connections. All of those ladies were very active in the music world.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Welcome back, good buddy!

      Yes, the comings and goings of personnel in groups and bands, including studio-only groups, is a fascinating subject. If you drew a huge diagram showing the connections and overlaps among various artists during the rock 'n' roll era, it would surely blow your mind.

      These ladies sweetened rock classics with soul and I want to introduce them and give them props in this two-part series.

      Thanks again for coming, Alex, and enjoy your week!

  3. Tom,

    I appreciated your repeat visits over the weekend. I just stepped away from Blogosphere to spend it with DH. This was the first weekend he really felt like getting out run around town taking life slow and easy. It was a refreshing change.

    What an interesting post paying tribute to some incredible back-up singers! I often wondered about the gals providing vocal support to big name artists. In some of the recordings it's hard to separate their voices from the mewsic and lead singer. Maybe it's my limited hearing that's causing this but I definitely picked up on these gals better in The Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan recordings. I, especially enjoyed the softer soul in "Deacon Blues" a song I hadn't heard in a long time. Of the Clydie King singles you shared, I liked "By Now" the best. Thanks for sharing these mewsic jewels with us. Have a good week, my friend!

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      Thank you very much for coming over, my faithful friend!

      It makes sense that you stepped away from blogging for a bit and got outdoors with DH now that spring is asserting itself in Tennessee. You were very conscientious about visiting SDMM during your busy A to Z month. I appreciate it and will remember it. Margaret and Kathleen also thank you. :)

      In this two part series you might find it hard sometimes to separate the backing vocals from the mewsic and the lead vocals. I can think of two reasons.

      1.) Background singers were sometimes used in moderation to slightly sweeten a track. Their voices were used as additional band instruments intended to blend with the other instruments instead of standing out from them.

      2.) Many older recordings, especially those inspired by Phil Spector and his Wall-of-Sound technique, were echo drenched and mixed in mono to achieve a dense sound which made it harder to pick out the backing vocals. However, you should be able to clearly hear the backing singers on "Sweet Home Alabama" because they shout the chorus and are an important component of the arrangement.

      Yessum, "Deacon Blues" is one of those records I haven't heard in decades but remember well.

      I'm delighted that you singled out the fab flip "By Now" as your personal Pick To Click. I like that one a lot, too, and it bears similarities to the Jan Bradley hit "Mama Didn't Lie" which was released just a few months earlier (in 1963). That's a $600 record right there, and many 45s are even more rare and pricey, some worth thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.

      Thank you again for joining me for this week's Clydie King mewsic fest, dear friend Cathy!

    2. Tom,

      I appreciate you clarifying why I'm having difficult separating the backup singers from everything else. Honestly, I didn't know if was the recordings or my ear problems. Maybe the later has something to do with it, too.

      WOW, "Mama Didn't Lie" is a pricey record considering how inexpensive it would have sold for in 1963. $600 sounds like a mighty good profit but it took the record 52 years to reach this impressive amount.

      I haven't stepped away from Blogosphere yet but I'm considering to do so next week. I want to plan ahead as I continue to my sketching and I need to take care of some chores and I just want to relax. :) We'll see how things go in my decision making to take a short break. Have a good evening and thanks for visiting today, my friend!

    3. Hi again, Curious Cathy! :)

      Thank you for swinging over for a visit again today, dear friend!

      To clarify, it is the 45 by Clydie King and the Sweet Things entitled "Only the Guilty Cry" b/w "By Now" that was priced at $600 a few years ago when I first wrote this article. In this post I was simply pointing out that the B side, "By Now" sounds like the Jan Bradley song "Mama Didn't Lie." Of course, a record needs to be in NM (Near Mint) condition to fetch a tidy sum, and old records in that condition tend to be rare. Around 15 years ago I assembled a nice little collection of 45s, most of them graded near mint, some pressed on colored wax. I keep them stored inside dust free, light free boxes and never play them or even handle them. It's the same as buying an extremely low mileage classic car and keeping it in a spotlessly clean garage under a tarp. :)

      If you take a break I will understand but I will also miss you, Cathy. You are a wonderful friend and I always appreciate your visits and thoughtful comments. Take care, dear friend!

    4. Tom,

      I could never be a "true collector" of anything because I would want to use it. Of course, if I had lots and lots of money then I can understood these vintage car collectors. They don't need that car to get around in but still it's hard for me to not enjoy my possessions. I'm leaning toward taking time off next week but I'm beginning to feel like I can't pull away just yet but we'll see what happens. I guess I'll just go with the flow. Have a good day, my friend!

    5. Hi, Cathy!

      It's kinda like "You can't have your cake and eat it too," right? :)

      If you take time off, I'll be missing you, and if you decide to keep going a while longer, I'll be looking forward to more of your great posts and comments.

      Thanks again for coming and have a great Thursday, dear friend Cathy!

    6. Tom,

      Yep, you pegged me right with "You can't have your cake and eat it, too." comment.

      I have a Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday posts scheduled for this week but after that I may lay low for the rest of the week. A break is needed and I know if I don't take one then I usually get overwhelmed later on but I'm still feeling that rush of excitement as I did preparing my A to Z posts. I see changes I want to work in but I know those changes will take time and patience.

      It's a bit chilly (48º) with rainy skies here today but tomorrow holds promise of a sunshine. Maybe, DH and I can get out to run some errand tomorrow afternoon. Have a good weekend, dear friend and thanks for visiting!

    7. Hi, Cathy!

      I have a new post coming tomorrow which will run until Mother's Day. If you take a break, get some rest and enjoy yourself.

      I figured since it is pleasantly cool and windy here today it must be pretty doggone chilly up where you are. I'm sure your temps will rebound into the 70s in no time and you and DH can spend some quality time in the great outdoors while you are on hiatus.

      Take care and enjoy the rest of your weekend, dear friend Cathy!

  4. We wore out our "record" of Sweet Home Alabama. Seriously. And I can't hear Steely Dan without going back in time when a friend and I crossed Canada in a Chinook with old Steely blaring on the radio. You've brought back some sweet memories, Shady.

    1. Hi, Cheryl-Lee!

      How are you, dear friend? I'm pleased to see you!

      It gives me great pleasure to present material that triggers fond memories for friends like you, Cheryl. I don't think it is possible to listen to any familiar oldie w/o linking to at least one memory associated with the song.

      "Sweet Home Alabama" would have sounded sterile and anemic without the major contributions of Clydie King, Sherlie Matthews and other female background singers. Their churchy soul shouting made that recording a timeless southern rock classic.

      Thank you again for joining the fun and contributing to the conversation this week, dear friend C-Lee!

  5. Awesome connections and great music! Thanks for sharing

    1. Hi, Mikey!

      Welcome back to SDMM, my old buddy!

      I'm glad you enjoyed this game of Six Degrees treating you to the best of Clydie King and her singing colleagues. Stay tuned, because you will hear more great recordings made by Clydie and other soulful songbirds when the game continues in Part 2 next week!

  6. I was not familiar with any of these ladies by name, but they certainly were part of some mighty good songs! Lynyrd Skynyrd, Doobies, Steely Dan... all great bands and a major part of my youth! Coming here always leaves me with some pleasant ear worms. :)

    1. Hi, Kelly!

      Thank you very much for coming over, my new friend. I'm delighted to see you!

      Yessum, after listening to this set of recordings you will no doubt have at least one of these catchy tunes stuck in your head on continuous replay for the rest of the day. I can think of worse fates. :)

      I'm proud to have posted some major memory makers from your youth, Kelly, and I thank you again for dropping by. Have a super week!

  7. Yo Shady, Really good stuff! One correction however. Kim Weston had the hit of Take Me In Your Arms.Am I Right Or Wrong? Kim And The Isleys both charted.
    Also,two different versions by the Doobies. Patrick Simmons sang the recorded version, but in person, Mike
    McDonald took over the lead. Odd? Don't
    you think? Patrick Simmons can sing his a.. off. Hey Shady, Just Checkin' In!

    1. Hi, Dave!

      Thanks for coming back over this week, good buddy!

      You are correct, sir. In late 1965, Kim Weston had a hit on the R&B chart with the original of "Take Me In Your Arms." It went to #4 R&B and #50 Hot 100. In 1968 the single by the Isleys reached #22 R&B ad Bubbled Under the Hot 100 at #121. The thing is, the Isleys' cover is the only recording that I remember from my youth, not the one by Kim. As I recall I had the Isleys version on an album that I owned and I played it so often that I never gave a thought to any other released version. In fact, I just now went to YouTube and played Kim's original, and I simply don't remember hearing it on the radio or hearing it played on the jukebox at the Dell. I guess you could call this one of my blind spots. I simply wasn't exposed to the Kim Weston original.

      Thank you also for the trivia about the Doobies. It seems like Michael McDonald got all the glory. As a solo act he was even invited on Soul Train.

      As always I appreciate your visits and your wisdom, Davy. Thanks again for coming over and for contributing to the discussion!

  8. I so enjoyed this post, friend Shady ... for many reasons ... you see, I was born roma ... but always felt the need to be free of my people's restrictions and rules ... I was scheduled by my family to be married to mr ugly age 16 in 1972 ... have been running ever since ... smiles ... hid in a monastery for 9 years in Germany. and finally made it to Canada in order to find freedom ...
    well it wasn't all freedom, let me tell you ... smiles and tears ... now I all have to account for is 2 vibrant kids and their awesome spouses ... and one estranged husband, that I just love to travel around the world with ... I still grapple with the fact that I lost my youngest child Jennifer Rose, age 7 months ... and I assume I will b doing this 4ever ... anyway, thank you for posting this particular blog, as it means a lot to me, friend Shady.
    Love always,

    1. Hi, cat!

      My goodness, this is the longest and most passionate comment you have ever written here on SDMM, dear feline friend!

      I don't know exactly why, but I can tell that this post dredged up some unpleasant memories of the past. However, it also gave you some pleasant flashbacks and meant a lot to you, and for that I am thankful.

      Over the year + that I have known you, I have been able to piece together the tidbits you reveal and get an idea of what your life has been like. Clearly you had more than your share adversity and tragedy, but there have also been some happy times - a mix of smiles and tears, as you put it. You have proven that you are a survivor, cat. You should feel very proud of yourself for carving out the life you now have and give thanks for your children and their spouses.

      Thank you again for dropping by and for sharing so much with me this time. I am grateful to you for opening up to this extent, cat! :)

  9. What a wonderfully interesting post!! I learned so much today. As discussed in above comment, i too saw the documentary on the backup singers. It was great! Merry Clayton is who i was familiar with out of the ladies mentioned. I also thought about the movie about Ray Charles played by Jamie Foxx and he ended up gettng one of his girls pregnant. Total sidebar but thats where my mind took me. LOL
    Sweet Home Alabama is a classic that i hear often on the classic rock station here in Dallas so now i'll be paying extra attention to the backup vocals. Once again, SO GOOD Shadester!!

    1. Hi, Holliwood N. Vine!

      It's great to have you over for another visit, dear friend. Thanks for coming!

      Wasn't that 20 Feet documentary great? Mrs. S and I also highly recommend the documentary about The Wrecking Crew, the talented musicians who played anonymously on so many of the great recordings of the 60s, including those produced by Phil Spector.

      Yessum, I saw that Ray Charles movie a few years ago and enjoyed it. Band and group members came and went constantly during those years and it is hard to keep all of the personnel changes straight in one's mind.

      I can't imagine "Sweet Home Alabama" without the soulful flavoring of those background singers, can you?

      I hope you and your family members and friends escaped the wrath of the latest round of Texas storms, Holli. I've been thinking about you over there. Stay safe and well, dear friend!

      Thank you again, Holli, for joining the fun as I salute a fellow Texan, Clydie King, and stay tuned for more from this soul thrush and her colleagues in Part 2 this Sunday!

  10. Oh gosh Shady, I am running late! I did come by earlier this afternoon and read this great post, but had a day and a half of everything else, so I'm finally getting back here!

    "Gimme Shelter" is one of my alltime favorite Stone songs, and wouldn't be without the fantastic backup. Merry is really good..I must say, you hit the jackpot on this one, Shady! I just love her version of this song, WOW! I would never have thought of her doing a solo version of it. You're right, it 'shoulda' been a hit. So impressive! And, I too have not ever heard of these ladies, but it looks like we've all enjoyed their talents in some hit songs.

    Love the Doobies and Lynard Skynard! The vocals, music, and of course the backup are so good in "Take Me In Your Arms".

    13 year old Clydie did a fabulous job on "A Casual Look"...a cool song. And, you my friend, did a fabulous job on this post! I know how research takes time, but shucks, you probably already knew about these ladies! I'm sure they would appreciate you bringing their talents forward if they were to become aware that you're saluting them too! Thanks Shady, for delivering another pot of gold!

    Sorry I'm so late. Take care and have a great week!♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      Thank you very much for popping in to sample the sounds of Clydie King and some of the fine female session singers associated with her.

      First of all, I am happy to know (or assume) that you are safe and sound in the wake of those dreadful Texas storms. I hope your son and Scootie are AOK as well.

      I'm delighted that you got so much out of this post. I've had it finished and in the can for at least three years but never got around to putting it on the schedule.

      It starts with a great song, I always say, and "Gimme Shelter" is a great song. I'm glad your ears agree with mine that Merry Clayton's otherworldly backing vocals make the Stones' recording extra special and that her solo version deserved to be a bigger hit. Actually, I remember that single quite well and it was indeed a hit in my region. As I recall, I started hearing it played in heavy rotation on the campus radio station at Penn State near the end of spring term 1970. It burned itself into my mind, heart and soul.

      I'm pleased that you enjoyed that rare relic from the 50s, Texas soul siren Clydie King's cover of "A Casual Look." As I am sure you agree, Clydie's vocals on the song are quite similar to the hit version by The Six Teens, as is the arrangement.

      You give me way too much credit, Suzanne. I needed to learn the names of most of these female singers and almost everything written here by doing research in recent years. I did not remember any of them from my youth except for Merry Clayton and her "Gimme Shelter" single. As I told my friend, Mr. Dave Bupp, lead singer of Central PA's fine white soul band The Magnificent Men, who commented on this post above, I have many "blind spots." When I was young, I paid attention to relatively few recording artists and a narrow range of styles. Now I am playing catch-up, scrambling to educate myself and hopefully get it right when I publish complicated Six Degrees posts like this two-parter. Davy pointed out that the original version of "Take Me In Your Arms" was released by Kim Weston in 1965. I told him that somehow Kim's version escaped my ears back in the day and that it was the Isley Bros. cover that I heard most often and associate with the song. So you see that I am here to learn along with you and the rest of the readers and that is why informative comments are so important to me.

      Thank you again for joining the fun, dear friend Suzanne. Take care and enjoy the rest of your week!

    2. Hi again. When you mentioned Kim Weston, I had to go back and listen. I remember her from duets with Marvin Gaye and possible Chubby Checker. I have actually heard her recording of "Take Me In Your Arms." So I listened again on Youtube! I'm so glad I got to see that video. Like you, I didn't pay much attention to the artists so much as the sound, and "is it danceable", and, can I sing it! I've been trying to catch up for some years now myself. And, that's where you come in, Shady!!! I also appreciate some of the movies in the last 20 years that feature the lives and careers of some of these artists. Just watched "La Bamba" the other day for the 'umpteenth' time, lol!

      Thank you, Shady. I enjoy being able to put some of the pieces together from days ago...faces to the music! ♫♫

    3. Hi, Suzanne!

      Thanks for coming to visit again today, dear friend!

      I'm glad you checked out Kim Weston's original recording. I did, too, and it seems like you remember her version better than I do. Kim's single was riding the chart around the time I first started going to the Dell. It might have been playing on the Dell jukebox those early weeks but I don't remember it, nor do I remember hearing it played on my local top 40 radio station. Keep in mind that it only reached #50 on the Pop chart. The biggie by Kim, "Helpless," came along a few months later. Even though "Helpless" wasn't as big a hit for Kim (#13 R&B/#56 Pop), I call it a biggie because it was a big hit at the Dell, made a big impression on me and earned a spot on my survey of the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell. Kim's other biggie, at least on the soundtrack of my life, is "It Takes Two," her 1967 hit duet with Marvin Gaye.

      Funny you should mention that Ritchie Valens biography. The other day Mrs. Shady watched Gary Busey in The Buddy Holly Story.

      It is my pleasure to help you put some pieces of the puzzle together, dear friend Suzanne. Thank you again for coming over to chat and stay tuned for more of Clydie King and friends coming up this Sunday. Until then please take good care of yourself and Scootie!

  11. What an interesting post! I never much give thought to the background singers. Thanks for bringing them to the forefront and shining a spotlight on the talents of Clydie King. I thoroughly enjoyed her version of Gimme Shelter!
    And you know you had me at the mention of Lynyrd Skynryd and the Doobie Brothers! Two of my favorite bands from the 70s. I sure wore out some 8-tracks listening to both of them.

    Very cool Six Degrees, Shady. How ever do you come up with these obscure connections??

    Have a good week!
    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele!

      Welcome back to Shady Dell Music & Memories, dear friend!

      I'm delighted to know that you enjoyed meeting Texas born soul thrush Clydie King and tracing the connection between her and other female session singers of the 60s. To give credit where it is due, I will remind you that Merry Clayton is the artist that joined Mick and his Merry Mates on "Gimme Shelter" and released that surreal solo single.

      Yessum, I suspected that you would appreciate learning some interesting trivia about the recording sessions that yielded the rock classics "Sweet Home 'Bama" and the 70s remake of "Take Me In Your Arms," the latter a song successfully recorded in the 60s by both Kim Weston and the Isleys.

      To answer your question, the inspiration for this Six Degrees of Clydie King two-parter came a few years ago when I got interested in the Wall-Of-Sound production technique of Phil Spector and began to collect Spector-produced recordings along with Spectorian sound-alikes. Soon after I launched my 17-part series entitled Echoes of the Spectorian Era. Clydie King and associated artists made recordings in that category and I found Clydie's to be such an interesting branch on the Spector "family tree" that I decided to salute her and those connected with her in this separate series. I will be presenting Clydie's Spectorian gems in Part 2 this Sunday.

      Thanks again for dropping by, dear friend Michele, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  12. ah yes, my bad: it was Merry Clayton, not Clydie King on Gimme Shelter. Well then, I sure did enjoy Merry Clayton's version of the song! :)

    You sure do a lot of research for your series. Quite impressive, my friend!
    Always an education here in Shadyland...

    1. Thanks, Michele!

      Mrs. S and I urge you to watch two documentaries that pay tribute to singers and musicians who spent the bulk of their careers behind the scenes in the studio contributing their talents and voices to the recordings of more famous artists. Those documentaries are:

      * 20 Feet From Stardom... which profiles Merry Clayton and other relatively unknown background and session singers...


      * The Wrecking Crew... the nickname given to the group of Los Angeles musicians that played on numerous hit recordings of the 60s.

      Those two films are extremely interesting and informative.

      Thanks again for being here this week, dear friend Michele!

  13. Hi Shady,

    I learned something new tonight! I always wondered who the female voice was in "Sweet Home Alabama" and now I know. :)

    Have a great week!

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Thank you very much for dropping in, dear friend!

      Yessum, Clydie King's sweet voice can be heard on the chorus of "Sweet Home Alabama" but, to give credit where it is due, I need to mention that Sherlie Matthews and Merry Clayton were also named as backing vocalists on the recording session. It's confusing because Sherlie isn't listed as a session singer in the main Wiki article about the song, but in a separate article about Sherlie's career, her credits include session vocalist on "Sweet Home Alabama." There were probably other session singers that contributed to the project as well.

      Thank you again for coming by, dear friend JM, and enjoy the rest of your week!

    2. Amazing! I always wonder where backing vocalists come from and now I know my answer.

      I have Skynyrd's greatest hits album and I'm not sure what is listed on the credits. I'll have to look tonight.

    3. Hi again, Jessica!

      Yessum, if you check the credits on that greatest hits album it might (and should) include session singers Clydie, Sherlie and Merry. I'm curious, so let me know what you find.

      Enjoy your weekend, dear friend JM!

  14. Again I'm amazed at how much info must be your head! All the history and facts are really mind boggling! I almost wanted to sing "It's a small world after all" but that would ruin all the good music in this post! It's very interesting how connected the background singers are and I would never have even thought of them if I hadn't been visiting here over the years! I'd never heard of Clydie King before so thanks for sharing her sound here! I'm off to Chicago to visit Mom who's doing good after her hospital stay last week. I'll be posting on that soon. I'll look forward to future posts on Clydie King! Have a good weekend!

    1. Hi, YaYa!

      Thank you very much for making time for a visit, dear friend!

      First and most importantly, I am happy to know that your mother is doing well. I hope that means the doctors got her heart rhythm issues worked out. I look forward to your update post and also to the announcement of your mother's birthday this month.

      I'm happy to know that you learned a lot and enjoyed the music in this post. The only reason why I have all this history and all these facts in my head are because I looked them up. :) With the exception of Merry Clayton and her "Gimme Shelter" record, I had absolutely no knowledge or memories of any of the women in this post, Clydie King included, until three years ago when I caught the Phil Spector bug and branched out from there. If you think this post has a lot of connections, just wait until you feast your eyes and ears on Part 2 coming this Sunday.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and comment, dear friend YaYa. Take good care of yourself. I'll keep praying for your dear mother!

  15. It's always great to come here and learn more about little known tracks. After hearing them you realise why both the song and the performer never quite made the Big time. Good but not quite good enough. Fascinating stuff!

    1. Hi, Joey!

      Thanks for coming across the pond today, good buddy!

      I'm happy to know that you learned something from the post. As the title of the documentary "20 Feet from Stardom" implies, talented singers like Clydie King came close to being stars but never got that one big break that would have made it happen for them.

      Stay tuned for part 2 this Sunday, Joey, because their are more interesting connections to be made in my game of Six Degrees of Clydie King. Thanks again for coming!

  16. Hi Shady!
    Oh this is clever – and exceptional, turn it up! Skynyrd is still a staple out here, I’ve long been partial to the Doobie Brothers and hadn’t heard Steely Dan in forever. Nothing against the Stones, but I rather liked Merry Clayton’s solo! What a classically tuneful way to start the day – thanks, Shady!

    1. Hi, diedre!

      It's so nice of you to come by again, dear friend. Thank you very much!

      It pleases me to know that you started your day with these classic rock nuggets sweetened by Clydie King and the other sultry soul sirens profiled in this post.

      You will get no argument from me about Merry Clayton's solo version of "Gimme Shelter." It's dripping with gospel soul and woulda been, coulda been and shoulda been a bit international hit.

      Thanks again for joining the fun, dear friend diedre, and stay tuned now for part 2 of Six Degrees of Clydie coming up this Sunday!

  17. I lost your email address, Mr Anderson/Andersen Shady ... but wanna tell u about my last post ... I send this desert illustration of mine to a friend as he was needing some illustration for his new book ... I did one other illustration for his former book, which was accepted and published, but same publishing company did not accept my recent illustration for last book ... I have not been creative like that in some 30 years ... ever since my daughter Jenny died ... I have not touch a guitar without crying ... then this man asked me to do an illustration for his book and ... voila! it was rejected ... will never do this again for anyone ... will never sing again for anyone ... delete ... Wishing you a very fine week end as well, Mr Shady ... Me have 2 more shifts 2 work on psych 34, then off for Cuba.
    Love, always, cat.

    1. Hi again, cat!

      Thank you very much for returning to your home away from home, SDMM.

      I appreciate you coming over to explain the meaning of your latest post and the unfortunate events that inspired it. We all deal with rejection at some point in our lives and it is never pleasant. I am truly sorry about what happened to you, but thank you for sharing.

      I realize more and more how deeply you were affected by the death of your little Jenny and that you are still coming from the pain of that loss all these years later. I hope your upcoming trip to Cuba enables you to clear your head and heart. Hang in there, dear friend!

  18. Today I have the time to listen to these and enjoy the works. I love how you connected these Clydie with everyone. She had a great voice and these back up singers deserve to be better known. I didn't know the name of that back up singer to the one Rolling Stones hit and I always loved her voice in that song. Do you have that 45 record that is worth $600?

    1. Hi again, dear Birgit!

      I'm glad you enjoyed being introduced to Clydie King, Sherlie Matthews, Venetta Fields and Merry Clayton (the latter the woman who sang with Mick Jagger on "Gimme Shelter"), three sultry soul sirens who woulda been, coulda been and shoulda been major stars, but instead mainly stayed in the background, standing in the shadows of more successful artists, and helping to turn other people's records into hits by providing backing vocals.

      I wish I owned that $600 record but I don't. Knowing how my brain works (or doesn't work), I would probably refuse to sell it, because vintage vinyl to me is greater than gold. :)

      Thanks again for catching up on the comments, dear friend BB!

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  20. HI,

    Clydie is a great talent!

    I was acquainted with Clydie King years ago when she was a client of mine when I worked at Colonial Penn Life Insurance. I have lost her contact information. I am wondering if you would or could contact her and ask her to contact me?

    Thank you,

    Blaine L. Berkowitz


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