STALLINGS Mary 1961

Here is the debut recording of Mary Stallings. Born in San Francisco, she was 22 at the time of this recording. Mary had been singing publicly for almost 14 years in the San Francisco churches! Several years later, she met Dizzy Gillespie, who invited her on his band's South American tour. "After Dizz, my career went into full swing" says Mary. She fronted a series of big bands and went on the road with many of the jazz greats of the day. "I met all the heroes of the music, then got to work with them" she says.
This included the Grover Mitchell - Earl "Fatha" Hines band, Billy Eckstine, Joe Williams, Tonny Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald and the Count Basie Orchestra. "They were all my teachers" she says, "without me realizing at the time what I was learning". Today, she sees that those early experiences not only shaped her musically but gave her the organizing principle for her life. "I believe that I never stop learning, and there's no one and nothing I can't learn from".
Seeking new lessons, Mary took a long break from performing and recording in the 70's. "I wanted some different life experiences after being on the road for so long" she says. I knew I needed to step back, take some time for myself and let what I had been doing for the past several decades settle so I could understand it". During this period, she returned to San Francisco, designed clothes and interiors, married and raise a child, and tender her garden. Then, once again, Dizzy stepped in. "I went out one night about 10 years later to see him perform" recalls Mary. "But he spotted me in the audience and asked me to sing. By the time I had finished, he had goose pimples".
"Boy, have you grown musically, he told me. It's amazing, the quality and timbre in your voice -you don't even know what you have. And he was right, I was amazed myself. But then I realized, it was just growth. Life had caught up with my voice".
No long afterward, Mary returned to performing and recording full time. The music press welcomed her back as the audiences did.

Mary STALLINGS 1961 Mary Stallings sings / Cal Tjader plays

Cal TJADER vb, Paul HORN fl, Clare FISHER / Lonnie HEWITT p, Victor VENEGAS / Freddie SCHREIBER b, Johnny RAE dr,

To be continued...

5 comments:

littleblueyellow said...

Daniel,
Yes, I would like to listen to this one.
Kiken

afroquarius said...

Cal Tjader the man! The singer/musician album he did with Anita O'day was one of her best.

Soul Man Red said...

Wow. I just picked this one up myself. Mary Stallings can really sing the blues, and Cal is in fine form too. Recommended to all who haven't heard it yet.

Jim

littleblueyellow said...

She can sing, but does not interest me much, although I had an opportunity of listening to her first recording. Her sounds to me seem to lack the softness and emotional depth.
Kiken

Jazz Miscellanous said...

KIKEN, OK WITH YOU. THIS IS HER DEBUT RECORDING. SURELY NOT HER BEST. YOU'LL SEE WITH THE FOLLOWING ALBUMS THAT SHE IMPROVED A LOT... AND SHE BECAME REALLY GOOD. BEST. DANIEL