Rose Marie McCoy
So many legendary artists have recorded
more than one of her songs, including
Elvis Presley, Nat King Cole, and Sarah Vaughan.
past president of Motown
former owner of Stax Records
Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame inductee
Maybe you haven't listened to an original recording of a Rose Marie McCoy song, but artists today are still recording songs that were first recorded decades ago. For example: Big Maybelle recorded "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show" in 1955, and Bette Midler recorded the song four decades later. One of her songs is now in the Broadway musical about Tina Turner. Her music has been used in movies, television shows, and commericials that featured James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Ray Charles.
It's not just that close to 400 artists have recorded one of her songs, but so many have recorded more than one. Elvis Presley recorded 2, Nat King Cole 3, Sarah Vaughan 6, Ruth Brown 11, and on and on. Then why isn't Rose in the Songwriters Hall of Fame? Well, of the 120 songwriters the SHoF inducted in 1970, only two were women. And though Rose had already written top ten hits for mainstream artists like Nat King Cole, Elvis Presley, and Ike & Tina Turner, many of her hits were for Ruth Brown, Nappy Brown, Big Joe Turner, Big Maybelle, Little Willie John. Those artists weren't played on major radio stations when Rose first started out, so not everyone got to hear them.
Rose Marie McCoy not only wrote words and music, she also produced many records for top artists, including Sarah Vaughan and Lenny Welch. And she formed her own music publishing company, McCoy Music. But what pleased her most, was singing for an audience and making records of her own songs.