Trying To Get To You

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ain't No Bed Of Roses

Soul music history is littered with stories of artists with tremendous talent who didn't find the success they were looking for. Judy Clay is one of those artists. Despite having a voice that could bend steel, and performing with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Cissy Houston (Whitney's mom) and others, the singles she recorded as a solo artist stiffed. She had a couple of minor hit records as duets with William Bell and Billy Vera (of "At This Moment" fame), but she couldn't capitalize on them. And the social climate of the times worked against her; TV shows wouldn't book her and Vera to sing their minor-hit "Storybook Children" together because Vera was white. Combined with a reputation for being "difficult," Clay found herself stymied at every turn. Her son recounted that she was so embittered by her lack of success that she couldn't watch award shows because when she saw Aretha Franklin on them, it would upset her too much.

Judy Clay eventually quit secular singing and went back to her roots in the church, singing gospel until her death in 2001.

Download: "Bed Of Roses"

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