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.
“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)
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 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
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
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
This humble space is dedicated with love to Merry
There are many more, you can find it in the links on this page: