Thought We Were Writing the Blues


"I don't know of any other songwriter with the kind of track record Rose Marie McCoy has," says Al Bell, former owner of Stax Records and past president of Motown Records Group. "Her songs have been recorded by so many legendary artists in such a diversity of styles: blues jazz, rock rhythm & blues, country, pop, gospel. It's mind boggling what she has done." Over 350 artists have recorded her tunes, including Elvis Presley, Nat "King" Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Ruth Brown, James Brown, Little Willie John, Louie Jordan, Bette Midler, Dizzy Gillespie, Patti Page, Dinah Washington, Billy Eckstine, Lloyd Price, Linda Ronstadt, Brooke Benton, Bruce Springsteen, and so many other legendary artists. But as incredible as her song catalog is, so is her story. It's that of a poor farmer's daughter from Arkansas breaking into the white male-dominated music business. "She knew how to hang in there with the big boys," says singer/songwriter Maxine Brown. "Women didn't have  place, so she made a place for herself," And unlike the female writers for whom she paved the way, Rose Marie McCoy did it as an independent writer and producer, without the backing of a publishing house or record company to promote her work.