by Gerardo Liedo

Photo by Neal Preston


NOTE: This site will be changed soon to include her solo works with music samples her co-works (semi solo albums not mentioned here as the Papa John Phillips – Merry Clayton album) and her full sessions. Please wait some days.

On her 56th birthday – December 25 - 2004-12-24



She is 56 years old now and now she is doing Christian music, her birthday was on Christmas day in 1948  in Gert Town, New Orleans, that's why her name is Merry, not Mary as written in the “Let it Bleed” inner sleeve.

Photo by Jon Abeyta

Daughter of Rev. Dr. Alvin G. Williams, Sr. and Eva Clayton, she was married since the late 60s with the legendary Curtis Amy (No. 1) until he passed on June 5, 2002. She has two sons Kevin and Darren Amy. She has one brother, Alvin Williams Jr.

Her husband, Curtis Amy, was a legendary tenor and soprano sax player with his own solo albums from 1960 to 1967, he played sax in the Doors studio albums like Soft Parade and LA Woman. And all the winds for Carole King between many other contributions like Ray Charles and Art Garfunkel.

RIP Curtis.

“She’s from Gert Town, New Orleans. The daughter of a Baptist reverend. Almost everyone calls her “Baby Sister.” She calls everyone “Two” Cause Curtis is “One.” She sings with wisdom, intensity and drive far beyond her 23 years. It is communication of the highest order, and now, of the biggest priority…and Lord, is she ever funky” Back cover of her album “Merry Clayton” 1971

Merry Clayton with Marianne Faithful, and Darlene Love (photo by Larry Busacca)


Research by Gerardo Liedo and Terry Hounsome

Part 1: Solo Singles and Albums:

None of them has been releases in CD yet. However, “ Miracle”s was released only as CD in 1994.

Singles (S) in blue and albums (A) in black. All covers scanned from my own collection.

S1.- It's in his kiss b/w Magic of Romance. 1963 Single Capitol 4984.

Produced, arranged and conducted by Jack Nitzsche (Session pianos and arrangements for the Rolling Stones)

S2.- Nothing left to do but cry b/w Usher Boy. 1963 Capitol.

S3.- Beg Me b/w La La Jace Song. 1964 Capitol 5164.

S4.- Knocks on the Door b/w This Is My Dream. 1964 Capitol 5243.

S5.- Country Road b/w Forget it I got it. 1970 ODE.

A1.- Gimme Shelter 1970 A&M (GB) and ODE(US).

Side 1: Country Road (James Taylor) / Tell all the People (Robbie Krieger – Doors Music) / Bridge Over Troubled Water (Paul Simon) / I’ve Got Life (Words James Redo – Jerome Ragin -- Music Galt MacDermot) / Gimme Shelter (Jagger – Richards) NOTE: Album cover has a mistake as tracks 4 and 5 are inverted.

Side 2: Here Comes Those Heartaches Again (James Cleveland) / Forget It (Gary Wright – Jimmy Miller) / You’ve Been Acting Strange (Billy Preston) / I Ain’t Gonna Worry My Life Away (Merry Clayton – Billy Preston) / Good Girls (Billy Page) / Glad Tidings (Van Morrison)

Produced by Lou Adler with considerable help from Merry’s husband Curtis Amy.

Guitars: David T. Walker, David Cohen, Louie Shelton, Lou Morrell, Orville “Red” Rhodes.

Piano & Organ: Joe Sample, Billy Preston.

Congas: King Errisson.

Percussions: Gary Coleman, Victor Feldman.

Bass: Bob West.

Drums: Paul Humphrey.

S6.- Give Me Shelter (with that spelling in the US version)

b/w Good Girls 1970 ODE. (released in other countries as “Gimme Shelter”)

S7.- After All This Time b/w Whatever. 1971 ODE.

A2.- Celebration. 1971 ODE.

S8.- I Ain’t Gonna Worry My Life b/w Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing. 1971 ODE.

A3- Merry Clayton (1971) with Carole King (A&M, ODE in 1971, and EPIC in 1979)

Side 1: Southern Man (Neil Young) / Walk On In (Carole King) / After All This Time (Carole King) / Love Me Or Let Me Be Lonely (Jerry Peters – Anita Poree) / A Song For You (Leon Russell) / Sho’ Nuff (Billy Preston).

Side 2: Steamroller (James Taylor) / Same Old Story (Carole King) / Light On The Hill (Richard Jones) / Grandma’s Hands (Bill Withers) / Whatever (Leon Ware)

Produced by Lou Adler again.

Keyboards: Billy Preston, Joe Sample, Jerry Peters, Carole King, Clarence McDonald.

Guitar: David T. Walker.

Bass: Wilton Felder.

Percussion: Gary Coleman, Bobbye Porter, Sandra Crouch.

Drums: Paul Humphrey.

Saxophone solos: Her husband Curtis Amy.

Voices: Jerry Peters, Abigail Haness, Patrice Holloway and the James Cleveland Choir.

S9.- Steamroller b/w After all this time. 1971 ODE.

S10.- The Times, They Are A-Changing b/w Mr. Tambourine Man. 1971 ODE ZS7 123.

S11.- Oh No, Not My Baby b/w Suspicious Minds. 1972 ODE 66062.

S12.- The Acid Queen b/w Underture. 1973 ODE (From her guest appearance in Tommy (see below)

A4.- Keep your eye on the sparrow. 1975 ODE in 1975 & EPIC in 1979.

Side 1: Keep your eye on the sparrow (Morgan Ames – Dave Grusin) / Gets Hard Sometimes (Eugene McDaniels) / Sink or Swim (Eugene McDaniels – Dennis Collins Johnson) / How’d I Know (June Williams, Lani Groves & Clarence McDonald) / Gold Fever (Eugene McDaniels).

Side 2: One More ride (Jon Mayer – Marcia Hillman) / Room 205 (Morgan Ames) / Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (Bob Dylan) / If I Lose (Eugene McDaniels) / Do What You Know (Eugene McDaniels – Morgan Ames – Rolando Batista).

Produced by Morgan Ames. Vocals Arrangements by Merry Clayton and Gene McDaniels.

Guitars: Hugh McCracken, David Spinozza.

Bass: Gary King.

Keyboards: Kenny Ascher, Bob James.

Drums: “Bad” Steve Gadd, Idris Muhammed.

Percussion: Ralph MacDonald.

Tenor Sax: Joe Farrel.

Trumpet: Lloyd Michaels.

Horns and horns arrangements, arp and lyricon: Tom Scott.

Ian Underwood (Zappa fame): arp.

Viola: getdown Virginia Majewski.

S13.- Keep your eye on the sparrow b/w Loving Grows. 1975 ODE.

S14.- One More Ride b/w One More ride. 1975 ODE 66116.

A5.- Emotion. 1979 MCA.

Side 1: Emotion (Webster Lewis – Ray Barnes – Cheryl Pitts) / Cryin’ For Love (Troy Seals – Hoyt Lindsey) / When the World Turns Blue [Melodies of Love] (Will Jennings – Joe Sample) / Wasted Time (Don Henley – Glen Frey – Jim Ed Norman).

Side 2: Sly Suite: [Dance To The Music / I Want To Take You Higher / Everybody Is A Star / Thank You / Falletin Me To Be Mice elf Again] (Sylvester Stewart) / Armed and Extremely Dangerous (Norman Harris – Allan Felder) / Let Me Make You Cry A Little Longer (Will Jennings – Joe Sample).

Produced by Steve Tyrell.

S15.- Emotion. 1979 MCA.

S16.- When the World Turns Blue. 1980 MCA

S17.- Yes, 1987 RCA PT 49564 12” EP SINGLE

Side A: Yes (Extended Dance Version) / In the still of the night.

Side B: Yes (Dub Version) / Yes (Edit Dance Remix)

S18.- Almost Paradise, 1989 RCA

A6.- Miracles (1994) Gospel Music on the colour radio station!  Christian Music.

He Touched My Life (Terry Young) / Pen Up Your Windows Of Love (Kimberly Armstrong – Robert Jerard) / Praise the Lord (Tyrone Porter) / Say Yes to the Spirit (Terry Young) / His Is the Love (Curtis Amy – Rob Mullins) / Miracles (Terry Young) / What About You (Terry Young) / No Time to Waste (Nick Ashford – Valerie Simpson) / I Know He'll Be There (Terry Young) / Heavenly Father (Shirley Caesar – Ronald Matlock – Michael Stokes)

Part 2: Sessions:

Merry is maybe the backup singer with the best reputation in Rock History, if not at leat she has participated with top artists/groups and many music genres. About the sessions, in addition to her work with the Stones, she was the ACID QUEEN in the Who version of Tommy with the LSO (*). She sings with Joe Cocker With a Little Help from my Friends between many others. She did the chorus with Carole King on the multi platinum Tapestry (71) and Music (72) and with Pacific Gas & Electric ARE YOU READY? In 1970

She only did two tracks in studio with the Stones: Gimme Shelter and Tumbling Dice, she is credited in Let it Bleed but she is not credited in Exile on Main Street, she was in the final edition at Sunset Sound Studios in LA. She is also in three tracks in the Performance Soundtrack: The main theme Performance, Poor White Hound Dog and Turner's Murder. She never performed live with the Stones, but with only those two contributions with the Stones and three with Mick Jagger we decided to make this humble space for her.

Her works include at least the following:

ARTIST                                         ALBUM                                                   YEAR

Allen Toussaint                          Toussaint                                              1971

B. B. King                                    Indianola Mississippi Seeds            1970

B. B. King                                    Best of                                                    1973

Big Country                                   Peace in Our time                                1988

Billy Preston                               I Wrote a Simple Song                       1971

Black Byrds                                City Life                                                  1975

Bobby Womack                         So Many Rivers                                   1985

Buffalo Springfield                    Box Set                                                  2001

Buffy Sainte Marie                     She Used to be a Ballerina               1971

Carole King                                 Tapestry                                                1972

Carole King                                 Music                                                      1975

Commodores                             Heroes                                                   1980

Chi Coltrane                                Let It Ride                                              1973

Chi Coltrane                                The Best Of                                           1986

David T. Walker                          David T. Walker                                    1973

Del Fuegos                                  Stand Up                                               1987

Delaney & Bonnie Bramlett    Together                                                1972

Dirty Dancing                                Soundtrack                                           1987

Etta James                                  Deep in the Night                                1978

Gator Creek                                 Gator Creek                                          1970

Gerardo Liedo                            Just my Imagination                           1971

Great Jones                                All Bowed Down                                  1970

Grin                                               Gone Crazy                                           1975

Harvey Mason                            Funk in a Mason Jar                           1977

Hoyt Axton                                  Life Machine                                         1974

Ike & Tina Turner                       Tour and some albums                     1966

Jerry García                                  García                                                     1972

Jerry García                                  Cats Under The Stars                        1978

Jesse Ed Davies                        Jesse Ed Davies                                  1970

Jesse Ed Davies                        Ululu                                                       1972

Jimmie Haskell                           California 99                                         1971

Joe Cocker                                    With a Little Help From My Friends     1969

Joe Cocker                                    Cocker                                                     1969

Joe Cocker                                    I Can't Stand a Little Rain                     1974

Joe Cocker                                    Three Originals                                       1992

Joe Lamont                                 Secret You Keep                                 1985

John Lee & Gerry Brown        Self Titled                                              19xx

Kate Taylor                                  Sister Kate                                            1971

Kenny Loggins                          Back to Avalon                                    1988

Lee Michaels                               5th                                                             1971

Leon Russell                              Leon Russell                                        1970

Linda Ronstadt                          Linda Ronstadt                                    1972

Lou Gramm                                 Long Hard Look                                  1989

Lynyrd Skynyrd                         Second Helping                                   1974

Lynyrd Skynyrd                         Skynyrd Innyrds                                  1989

Lynyrd Skynyrd                         Lynyrd Skynyrd                                   1991

Maylon Le Fevre                        Mylon                                                      1971

Michael Murphey                       Michael Murphey                                 1974

Neil Young                                     Neil Young                                               1969

Nils Lofgren                                Nils Lofgren & Grin                             19xx

Pacific Gas & The Electric       Are You Ready?                                  1970

Paul Butterfield Blues Band   Live                                                         1970

Paul Butterfield Blues Band   Sometimes I just feel like smiling    1971

Performance (w/Mick Jagger)      Soundtrack                                           1970

Phil Ochs                                     Tape From California                         1968

Phil Ochs                                     Greatest Hits 1970                               1970

Phil Ochs                                     Rehearsals for Retirement                1969

Rare Earth                                   Grand Slam                                           1978

Ray Charles                                  Ray's 67th birthday                                1997

Red Bone                                    Beaded Dreams                                   1974

Red Bone                                    Beaded Dreams t/Turquoise            1974

Ringo Starr                                  Ringo                                                      1973

Rock and Roll Doctor                   Lowell George Tribute Album          1998

Rolling Stones                           Let it Bleed                                            1969

Rolling Stones                           Exile on Main Street                            1972

Ron Davies                                 Silent Song Through The Land       1970

Roy Ayers                                    You send me                                        1978

Taj Mahal                                     Mo' Roots                                              1974

The Who                                        Tommy LSO                                            1972

Tim Scott                                     High Lone Some Sound                    1987

Tina Turner                                 Turns The Country on                       1967

Tori Amos                                      Under the Pink                                     1994

Tracey Nelson                            Tracey Nelson                                      1974

Wilton Felder                              Inherit The Wind                                  1980

YKTR                                            Y Kant Tori Read                                1989

This humble space is dedicated with love to Merry


There are many more, you can find it in the links on this page:

Thanks, Credits, Sources, Tea, Coke and Sympathy!