CLAY McMURRAY..2

SoulfulDetroit.com FORUM: Archive - Beginning April 17, 2003: CLAY McMURRAY..2
Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph (209.240.198.62) on Monday, January 20, 2003 - 09:35 pm:

Clay,
Sometimes old friends are so familiar with one another we forget to say thank you. Thanks for sharing all your stories and experiences here Clay. You definitly are a premier Heavy Hitter from the Detroit music scene and I am so privelaged to know you as a friend. Best wishes for the coming year old pal and my best to Pree.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay (66.73.182.63) on Monday, January 20, 2003 - 10:49 pm:

Ralph,
The pleasure of your friendship is nothing less than
classic. I will always cherish the early years we shared and without those years we would'nt be hear to
talk about them. We were really blessed in a lotta ways Ralph to do the things we did and hang with all the people we encountered on the way. It was our time,our space and no one can change our history. We will always be friends in this life and the next. And Thanks for letting me share and continue to share so many special moments with You and everyone else here at SD.com Peace

Top of pageBottom of page   By Davie Gordon (193.122.21.42) on Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 04:24 pm:

Hi Clay,

Thanks for answering my question about "Make Me
The Woman .." .. looks like my suspicions were
right.

I agree that if it HAD been issued as the follow
up to "If I Were Your Woman" it would have been as big, if not bigger , hit.

As for "Quality Control"'s attitude - the phrase
"cutting off your nose to spite your face" seems to fit the situation. A damn shame.

Still nothing can take away from a superb job by
everyone involved in the creation of that track
- one of your real treasures, even if doesn't get
the same recognition as its predecessor.

Thanks again, Clay

Top of pageBottom of page   By Kristin (68.32.81.180) on Thursday, January 23, 2003 - 05:45 pm:

Clay-

I don't know if you got my message. Sue Whitall said that you were looking for me. "Ain't That A Funky Way To Treat Somebody?" I sure wish that I had a CD copy of that. Who was the artist that did that tune? I was trying to find it today. Anyway, it's me. Kris Peterson.
E-mail me, or I'll call you. Betty Slater gave me your number.

Kris Peterson

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph (209.240.198.62) on Thursday, January 23, 2003 - 05:54 pm:

Kris Peterson,
Welcome to the forum. We've been talking about you here.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay (66.73.184.233) on Thursday, January 23, 2003 - 11:54 pm:

Hi Kris
It's been a long,long time and I am soooooo glad to hear from ya. The song you asked about was recorded by "Calvin Arnold" on Venture records,formerly owned by Motown's William"Mickey"Stevenson. I just may have a copy of it somwhere,since I was the guy who promoted it. Are you looking to re-record it? If so,that would be great I can't think of anyone who might do it better. You've got more soul than a Hummer full of Black Chics LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Are you singing anywhere in Town? If so I'm coming to see ya so let me know. Susan has my e-mail for you so lets get in touch. Wow!!!I've really had you on my mind lately. Looking forward to seeing ya.
Peace

Clay,

Top of pageBottom of page   By David Meikle (213.122.172.126) on Friday, January 24, 2003 - 04:17 am:

Kris

Welcome to SoulfulDetroit.

What a nice surprise.

Please, stay tuned!

David

Top of pageBottom of page   By Kristin (68.32.81.180) on Friday, January 24, 2003 - 05:26 am:

Clay-

I'm still kickin'; still singing. I'm a lifer. I called you last night but no one answered. Sue has my cell number which is my day number. I'll call her today and get your e-mail.
If you've got "Funky Way", I'll take it. That was one of my favorite all-time records. I remember that I was working at the "Chit Chat" when that came out. I added it to my repetoire.

I don't have any gigs set up right now. The last band that I was with "broke up...." same ol same ol. I have a CD though....a group CD with three originals.

Talk to you soon.

Kris P.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay (66.73.216.247) on Friday, January 24, 2003 - 07:21 am:

Kris,
When you e-mail me why don't you attach some of your new music(MP3)I'd love to hear your voice again. I was thinking about re-recording a couple of my originals that would be perfect for you. I'll give you the titles in our e-mail communication. I think
we've got another shot at making some music together.
I still have an unplayed copy of "MaMa's Little Baby" Kris, that was a great time. Do you ever see Rick Drapkin? If so, give him a shout from me. Peace

Clay

Top of pageBottom of page   By Davie Gordon (193.122.21.26) on Friday, January 24, 2003 - 01:28 pm:

Hi Kris,

Glad to see you've found us !

If you click on "Archives Past" and scroll dow, quite a long way actually, you'll find a thread
with your name on it.

You'll find my attempt at a listing of your records - if you could spare the time to go over it and add any comments you might have we'd all
be grateful.

Top of pageBottom of page   By cleoharvey (160.79.83.208) on Monday, January 27, 2003 - 01:12 pm:

Clay:

How are you my friend? I have been doing the survival thing and have not been on the forum too much.

I have a questions for you. Of all the performers that you worked with at Motown, who was the easiest to record and work with. And of course the other question is, who was most difficult. Of course, I totally understand if you cannot answer the second question. LOL!!

Things are slow in New York show business right now for everyone but particularly those of us of darker hues. But we shall survive! We will not be vanquished!! LOL!!

All the best to you Clay.
Michael

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay (66.73.188.44) on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 07:32 pm:

Hi Cleo,
I'd have to say that it was Gladys knight, because she was always ready and willing to get the job done. I also would like to say that I personally can't remember a BAD time with any of the artist. I did'nt bring a negative vibe to the studio and most of the artist knew this and that way we both or all
shared a mutual respect.Overall I would'nt trade my experience with any of the Motown artist.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay (66.73.188.44) on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 07:35 pm:

Hi Cleo,
I'd have to say that it was Gladys knight, because she was always ready and willing to get the job done. I also would like to say that I personally can't remember a BAD time with any of the artist. I did'nt bring a negative vibe to the studio and most of the artist knew this and that way we both or all
shared a mutual respect. Overall I would'nt trade any
of my experiences with any of the Motown artist. Peace

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay (66.73.188.44) on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 07:36 pm:

Hi Cleo,
I'd have to say that it was Gladys knight, because she was always ready and willing to get the job done. I also would like to say that I personally can't remember a BAD time with any of the artist. I did'nt bring a negative vibe to the studio and most of the artist knew this and that way we both or all
shared a mutual respect.Overall I would'nt trade my experience with any of the Motown artist. Peace

Top of pageBottom of page   By Carl Dixon London (195.153.219.170) on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 07:55 pm:

Michael and Clay! Just to let you know it's almost 1am here in London and I am at work til 0700hrs and I am sure you will be both pleased to learn I am listening to my Supremes anthology double CD I got for Christmas and moreover Clay, I am 'never can say goodbye...ing'at present! And next up I see I'll be ' walk with me.....ing' ha ha!

Top of pageBottom of page   By stephanie (204.30.139.157) on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 09:13 pm:

I have a question for you musicians how do people like Larry Graham and first rate bassist like him rate to Jamerson? When I got older I had no idea that James Jamerson was this IDOL all I ever heard about were people like Stanley Clarke,
Larry Graham and Jimi Hendrix and other guitarist.

I never heard Jamersons name as a little girl and I was around a lot of people who knew about music.
But when I got older and started talking to other musicians Jamersons name always came up. Was he a best kept secret and only known among musicians or did he start getting critical acclaim in the 80s and now he is known. Please advise..
Stephanie

Top of pageBottom of page   By stephanie (204.30.139.157) on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 09:20 pm:

Im sorry that question meant to go in the Jamerson thread!! Im sorry Clay!! I do love Walk with me Talk with me though its one of my favorites...I hope I have redeemed myself.
stephanie

Top of pageBottom of page   By cleoharvey (160.79.83.208) on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 11:36 am:

Clay:

Thanks for the quick response. Gladys is one of my all time favorite singers. Although she never had the vocal range of some of the other ladies, she took what she had and could sing anyone under the table. I was once at a show where Gladys was singing with Dionne and Patti Labelle and at one point she sang both of them into a corner with her musicality and intensity. Dionne actually stopped singing and started to do backup. She is tremendous and I am glad she is finding personal happiness.

Carl:

One of my favorite unreleased tunes on the anthology besides Clay McMurray's Walk With Me, is the Holland/Beatty/Holland " Room At the Top" with Scherrie Payne singing lead. Had that cut been re-mixed and released it would have been a smash. Enjoy!!
Michael

Top of pageBottom of page   By SisDetroit (68.42.209.170) on Saturday, February 01, 2003 - 03:19 pm:

Clay - I see that Pree has been on shows with the group "Serieux." This is a group with so much talent. Do you know much about this group, as far as whether they will be recording?

Thanks, Sis

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay (66.73.177.39) on Sunday, February 02, 2003 - 08:19 am:

Hi Sis,
I recently had a meeting with the group about recording a new CD and we are currently working out the details. I hope to have them in the studio within the next few months.Right now we're picking songs/new material. They are really a great bunch of guys and they all are excellent dedicated singers. I love this group and would like very much to deliver them to the ears of the masses. I think they are the best unknown group in Detroit as far as recording is concerned. Their Live show is seriously HOT!!!!!! I'd like to do a song with the group and Pree hopefully as well. I'll let you know when all is finalized. Peace

Top of pageBottom of page   By JSmith (212.39.231.20) on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 02:06 am:

Clay,
I have been listening a lot this weekend to Stephanie Mills version of "Of I Were Your Woman" (an MCA 45 from the 80's & album title track).

I really like her version, it has a deep soul edge to it. What is your opinion of this Ron Kersey (?) produced cut ??

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay (66.73.184.240) on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 09:24 am:

JSmith
I think they Both did a great job and I express this to Stephanie shortly after it was recorded. She's a seasoned pro and Ron knows what to do with a remake.
I appreciate having my music being re-recorded by good singers and producers in the industry. You must remember that the only songs that are re-cut are the GOOD ones LOL. Peace

Top of pageBottom of page   By Edgar (200.46.134.116) on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 12:03 pm:

Clay, hello from Panama, and thank you for all your stories. I wanted you to know that after reading your posts I decided to burn myself a series of CDs called "The Motown Collection" dedicated to writers and producers. First I thought of "The Motown Connection", because I would include non-Motown artists, but finally opted for "Collection". Well, "The Motown Collection I" is Clay McMurray's (illustrated with that photo of you holding a CD). I am only including 12 tracks on each CD. Unfortunately, in your case, I don't have any CDs by the Originals, but this is what I came up with:
1. Gladys Knight & the Pips: If I Were Your Woman
2. The Undisputed Truth: Girl, You're Alright
3. The Supremes: Then We Can Try Again
4. Martha Reeves & the Vandellas: You're the Loser Now
5. Gladys Knight & the Pips: Make Me the Woman That You Go Home To
6. The Supremes & Four Tops: You Gotta Have Love In Your Heart
7. Fantastic Four: If This World Were Mine
8. The Marvelettes: That's How Heartaches Are Made
9. Kiki Dee: The Day Will Come Between Sunday and Morning (I am not sure about this, but I included it anyway, because someone told me you had produced it)
10. The Supremes: Is There a Place (In Your Heart for Me)
11. Gladys Knight & the Pips: If You Gonna Leave (Just Leave)
12. Four Tops: Walk With Me, Talk With Me.

Others so far are: II. Whitfield, III. Frank Wilson, IV. Holland-Dozier-Holland, V. Ashford & Simpson, VI. Smokey Robinson, VII. Berry Gordy, VIII. William "Mickey" Stevenson, IX. Hal Davis, X. Henry Cosby.

One question, Clay: it sounds as if the Supremes and Four Tops are not together while recording vocals in "You Gotta Have Love In Your Heart". Is that so, and if it's not asking too much, why?
Edgar.

Top of pageBottom of page   By cleoharvey (160.79.83.208) on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 01:59 pm:

Clay:

I did the Wiz with Stephanie Mills (I was the last Lion) and that little diva used to give me chills every night when she sang. She has a great depth of feeling to her and she taught me a lot about singing. Sometimes during Be A Lion she would drop out of the duet to force me to come up with something interesting. Of Course, no one sings If I Were Your Woman like Gladys, but I adore Stephanie's version and I am glad you do.

Maybe someone of your expertise and talent could convince her to go back into the studio and put out a secular album She is sorely missed in the R&B world. When I was on tour several years ago, everywhere I went they were playing her old records and she is a staple of the retro R&B stations. I once talked with her about it but it was evident she had been burned by the record industry and it was painful. However, I can see it now, Stephanie Mills makes hit return produced by Clay McMurray. Stephanie Mills remaking Make Me The Woman You Go Home to. WOW!!
Michael

Top of pageBottom of page   By SisDetroit (68.42.209.170) on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 05:41 pm:

Thank you Clay for your response. The group has a hugh following. When I hear them sing, I just can't believe how great they sound. It's time to introduce them to the rest of the world.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Keith Herschell - London (213.122.24.247) on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 01:41 pm:

Hi Clay

I was playing through a newly acquired CD the other day, and one track in particular grabbed my attention. When I checked the notes, it was Lynn Varnado - ‘Ain’t that something’, and I read that it was your arrangement and production, but it was never released. Why on earth not, because it is absolutely fantastic. The lady sings so well, and your side of it is superb. When was it recorded?

Up until recently, and apart from the hits I was not too familiar with the Originals work. I decided to put that right and got a best of CD. I know you worked with them extensively, and one track in particular blew me away, which is ‘I’m someone who cares’. I know it is a Johnny Bristol song, but were you involved in this. It is the epitome of what Soul is all about, a superb song, great arrangement and a performance that ranks with the best (the way the lead singer holds that opening note is awesome)

I feel humbled at being able to communicate with the People that made the music that has so enriched my life.

My highest regards
Keith

Top of pageBottom of page   By Scratcher (65.132.78.128) on Thursday, February 06, 2003 - 02:17 pm:

Keith, did you know that Lynn Varnardo was Snoop Doggy Dogg's aunt? I believe she's a minister in St. Louis now.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay (66.73.217.88) on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 06:46 am:

Hi Keith,
Welcome aboard this historical site. Tell me,was the Lynn Varnardo song on a CD label called Halley Records? Anyway, no it was never formally released and further more I'm in the process of releasing a compilation which will include a few more songs by the incredible Ms. Varnardo recorded some 27+ yrs ago. As for the Originals I produced an album called "Naturally Together" on the group as for the "Best Of" you may find a song entitled"God Bless Whoever Sent You" that I wrote and produced. As for "I'm Someone Who Cares" that credit goes to none other than my Dear associate Johnny Bristol who did a great job with that production. It'll be a few months down the road,but stay tuned I'm planning on releasing some interesting lost product on my label "MYTOWN RECORDS"thru my new website within the next few months. It's nice to know that I created some music that brings others a bit of Joy. And yes Ms. V is in Snoop Dogs family. Peace

Top of pageBottom of page   By Keith Herschell - London (213.122.194.24) on Saturday, February 08, 2003 - 03:35 pm:

Hi Clay
The Lynn Varnardo CD track was on a UK label called JoeBoy, which is (I think) run by neil Rushton, a much respected figure on the UK soul scene, in particular the Northern scene. I bought the CD in order to get a previously unreleased track by Timmy Willis called 'Such Misery', which was previously done by Detroit group The Precisions on Drew Records.
The Originals track that you produced 'God Bless' I bought when it was released about 1971. It was on a 3 track single, the other 2 being 'I like your style' and 'Baby I'm for real', making 3 superb tracks. Incidentally, have you ever heard Esther Phillips version of 'Baby I'm for real'. It is very good.
Regards
Keith

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue (63.85.105.20) on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 11:45 am:

Clay,
I can't access my personal email right now so I have to use the "bulletin board" to tell you ...I'm here now but leaving shortly for a lunch appointment.

Can you call me after 1:30? Click on my name here and shoot me an email at work ..

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay (66.73.217.201) on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 07:58 am:

Keith,
I recently listen to the Ester Philips version of "Baby I'm For Real" and she really did a nice job on it. Tell me, how is Lynn Varnado regarded in the Northern Soul arena? Also does Neil have a web page available? Let me know when you can. Peace

Top of pageBottom of page   By Deke (12.229.234.28) on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 03:19 pm:

Clay,

So what's the 'Paul Bunyon' of Motown up to these days? God, I've give anything for one good whiff of 'The Pit' right now. It's too healthy here, up North in WA. I ran into so much bureaucracy in the business after I left Motown. I really got discouraged. The record companies weren't too bad until they had me do about 6 themes for different films for soundtracks. I gave them what they wanted, and they still couldn't make up their minds. What in the world happened to the good 'ol days when someone (A&R) heard something they liked and said, "Let's put it out!". I still love to write. I just don't like to play Football at the same time. I'm slowly getting in the mood to raise hell again. The more crap I hear on the radio, the madder I get.

My chops are a tad rusty. I tore down my studio I built in LA just before I moved up here. Everything went into storage. Some of the gear is outdated, so I've been dumping a little on eBay. Computer music is OK and has it's place. I don't mind it for demos, but I still love a live band. That's the only way to go for me . . . personality. I miss the guys, and of course JJ and Robert White. One of a kinds, they were and always will be.

There are a few others I need to say hi to as well that were 'there' as well, and saw the magic. I have to catch up with a lot of threads


I gotta jump now. Tell you what . . . this time, I'll post this first letter on both our threads just in case. Then, we can just post on each others thread and keep each other alive, for a minute anyway. Best to you and your family.

Easy, Big Fella . . .

Deke

Top of pageBottom of page   By R&B (138.238.41.118) on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 03:31 pm:

CLAY,YOU MENTIONED THE TITLE {MOMMAS LITTLE BABY},WAS THAT BY A GROUP CALLED BROTHERLY LOVE?I'M ASKING BECAUSE I'VE BEEN TRYING TO FIND THAT SONG FOR YEARS,IT'S GREAT!THANK YOU.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay (66.73.179.16) on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 08:04 am:

Deke,
Glad to hear ya holla back. And yeah it ticks me off to hear all the BS music being played on the air and in the clubs,but when you have 20 yr old DJ's and Program directors what else are you gonna here. I'm sure we both have equipment older than most of todays artist,writers,producers,and engineers LOL. Even though digital is in,be careful selling all your analog stuff because some of it is priceless and still usable. I've got my Trident Console and as far as I'm concerned they can bury it with me because I don't intend to get rid of it,it's simply amazing still. I'm working on a few projects that probably don't fit the format for
the current trend,but guess what I ain't trying to
create for that crew. I like making real music with real players for the hundreds of thousands of music
lovers that are alive and well in many parts of the world. Plus we now have the virtual highway to the
end of the earth and for the few of us who still have people that appreciate what we do is good enough for me to keep shooting at the target LOL.
We need to hook up on the net and talk about doing
something together while we can still count it off.
Deke, you got a gift and although the winds have changed a bit don't stop doing what you loved. Remember people cut down trees with an axe,before
the gas and electric saw. We ought find the Jacksons and put them back in the game once more LOL. It's good to know you're hangin tuff and keeping it real. Give my best to your family and lets surpise some folk. Peace

Top of pageBottom of page   By SisDetroit (68.42.209.170) on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 01:30 pm:

Clay & Deke - We are in your corner, waiting patiently for the quality that you still have. Deke, Clay has a grand idea regarding the Jacksons.

Top of pageBottom of page   By cleoharvey (160.79.83.208) on Friday, February 21, 2003 - 03:24 pm:

Clay:

How are you? I haven't posted a note to you in a while. I have been involved with the boring business of trying to keep my head above water. Show business is very extremely slow right now, and especially for those of us of color. I hope all is going well with your projects. There are so many people hoping that you and Deke and others can put some music back on the airways that touch the heart, mind, as well as the feet. There is an audience for it, it just has to get on airways. I have an idea. Since Mary Wilson is in Detroit working on a CD (she talked about it at BB King's and had the audience in stitches talking about how Martha Reeves had dragged her to every dive in Detroit), why don't you and Deke go over and give her a few tunes or work with her. Of course, I realize that there are business logistics but I can dream can't I? I have always dreamed and the inspiration came from what you guys put on the radio in my growing years.

All the best to you my friend.
Michael

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay (66.73.216.77) on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 08:28 am:

R&B,
The song you mentioned "Momma's Little Baby" I recorded it with a incredible young lady from Detroit by the name of Kris Peterson on Artie Fields Pelican label during the 60's. She's still a fantastic singer and in the process of recording a new CD with me. Peace

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay (66.73.216.77) on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 08:40 am:

Cleo,
I would love to get Ms Wilson in the studio again,but I'm afraid I would be stepping on the toes of her Producer at this time. I have a song called "Inside Out" that Mary loved so much that I cut the track for her,she knows I have it
She also knows that I'm real serious about getting the job done when I'm in the studio. If Mary desires my services I'm not hard to find and she also know where I'm located, she's been there before. or better yet she could have get my cell# from Wolfie or e-mail me. if she would like to get busy I could be available for her. Need I say more? Peace

Top of pageBottom of page   By cleoharvey (65.144.206.186) on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 07:31 pm:

Clay:

No you need not say anymore! LOL!!! My wish is that one my favorite people gets into the studio with one of my favorite producers very soon.
Michael

Top of pageBottom of page   By cleoharvey (65.144.206.186) on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 07:33 pm:

No... you need not say anymore. LOL!!! My wish is that one my favorite people gets into the studio with one of my favorite producers very soon.
Michael

Top of pageBottom of page   By cleoharvey (65.144.206.186) on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 07:35 pm:

oooops. I am seeing double. Drug flashback from the 70s. LOL!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By John Lester (217.40.220.81) on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 01:56 am:

Clay

How are you getting on with the new Pree Cd? Is it nearly finished yet?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay (66.73.177.77) on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 08:09 am:

Hi John,
Pree's CD is done I'm waiting on a sample of the insert and artwork for final approval. It may take
an additional few weeks because graphics people don't like to be rushed. also,if the pressing plant here is unable to complete my initial order than I have to wait or source it out to my plant in Canada. I'll know within a week. Don't worry I will e-mail you with the results. Pree says, Hello and she'll see to it that you get one from the first run. Peace

Top of pageBottom of page   By Clay (66.73.177.77) on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 08:17 am:

Cleo,
Maybe it's just a matter of adjusting ones schedule.
Or better yet once you've tried the rest,then get with the best. Oops!!!!And it's not about EGO!! But if you want a real nice room you to the RITZ. LOL
Peace

Top of pageBottom of page   By John Lester (217.40.220.81) on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 10:07 am:

Clay and Pree.

I shall be ready and waiting for that CD!!

And that is a real nice of you to let me have one from the first run, I am honoured by such a thoughtful gesture. Thank you


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