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Thursday, December 05, 2019

VIDEO: Merry Clayton's Southern Soul Cover of Neil Young's "Southern Man"

Merry Clayton


Over Thanksgiving holiday, we re-watched the film "20 Feet From Stardom" and were reminded of Merry Clayton.

And you say who is Merry Clayton???

Clayton sang back up vocals on Neil Young's "Old Laughing Lady". Above, watch Merry Clayton covering Neil Young's "Southern Man" around 1972/3 (@~14:30).

Also, Clayton was the intensely female backup vocal on the Rolling Stones original version of "Gimme Shelter". And, she was one of the original Rayettes (Ray Charles female backup singers).

Merry Clayton's was brilliant on The Who's "Tommy" soundtrack on "The Acid Queen" with symphony orchestra backing.

And, she sang backup on Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama", that song that some think"put Ol' Neil down".

Southern soul for a southern man from a southern woman.

1969 - Merry Clayton recorded The Old Laughing Lady and I Loved Her So Long with Neil Young

1971 - Merry Clayton recorded Southern Man as a solo artist

1974 - Merry Clayton recorded Sweet Home Alabama with Lynyrd Skynyrd

And, so why exactly might a southern black woman cover a white Canadian man's ode to racism in the Confederate south again, now anyhow

From the film "20 Feet From Stardom", Merry Clayton discusses her backup vocal on The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter". Note Mick Jagger's reaction when Clayton's voice breaks on lyrics "Rape, Murder".

Also, see Northern Man, Southern Man and The Un-Civil Wars of Donald Trump & Neil Young and Southern Man and Northern Man: Ronnie and Neil, The Un-Civil Wars & Rebels with Causes.

We hope you remember that a Southern Man needs Neil Young around anyhow. Now, more than ever.

Labels: , ,


At 12/06/2019 07:13:00 AM, Blogger Jonathan said...

On a related topic - sort of - who is the Robin that Neil references this week on his Archives note about this week's album of the week, Decade? I'm drawing a blank

At 12/06/2019 10:07:00 AM, Blogger Paul Dionne said...

@Jonathan - Robin is Robin Lane
paul dionne

At 12/06/2019 11:25:00 AM, Blogger Jonathan said...

Thanks Paul!!

At 12/06/2019 10:08:00 PM, Blogger rolandthompsongunner said...

Happy you made this post, Thrasher. It's a good one. It's been a while since I've seen 20 Ft, and I'm due for a rewatch. What a great music documentary (and a wise Thanksgiving choice).

In pop culture, we have 6 degrees to Kevin Bacon. In the music world, you don't even need the 6 degrees to get to Merry Clayton. She's important. She's a treasure. It's important that folks know who she is.

One could she say she's an all around Natural Beauty... and they wouldn't be wrong.

Happy holidays, my friend

At 12/07/2019 07:16:00 AM, Blogger Steve Rust Downunder said...

It's a trip... to see a Black lady sign Southern man puts total different spin on it. Thank you

At 12/07/2019 09:05:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Old laughing lady and gimme shelter. Case closed.


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