Arlene Corsano 0

Rose Marie McCoy Songwriters Hall of Fame

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We the undersigned call on the Songwriters Hall of Fame to induct Rose Marie McCoy. She is a genuine pioneer, a black female in the white male-dominated industry of the 1950s, who paved the way for the female pop specialists who followed.Though her name is not well-known, the accomplishments of Rose Marie McCoy are legendary.

“I don’t know of any other songwriter with the kind of track record Rose Marie McCoy has,” says Al Bell, past president of Motown Records Group and former owner of Stax Records. “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.”

Rose Marie McCoy may not have the name recognition of some of your past inductees, but many of the 350 the artists who have recorded more than one of her songs do, including Elvis Presley (2), Nat “King” Cole (3), Sarah Vaughan (6), Dinah Washington (2), Brooke Benton (3), Jimmy Rushing (4), Jimmy Scott (11).

But what those familiar with her work most remember her for are the top ten hits she created for artists whose records were classified as Rhythm & Blues when that designation meant the record was made by black artists and meant for a black audience. At the time R&B records were not played on most radio stations or sold in most record stores, so though most Americans are familiar with the top ten hits Rose Marie McCoy created for Elvis Presley and Nat King Cole, they do not know of the R&B classified hits she wrote for Ruth Brown, Nappy Brown, Faye Adams, Big Maybelle, Little Willie John, Maxine Brown, or Ike & Tina Turner.

Rose Marie McCoy has had one of the longest songwriting careers ever. Her first song recorded in 1946 and an album of ten newly written country songs was recorded in 2013. Her success as a female writer paved the way for the many Songwriter Hall of Fame inductees, including Sylvia Moy, Valerie Simpson, Carole King, Ellie Greenwich, and Cynthia Weil. To date, over 350 artists have recorded her songs.

We feel it is a shame she has been overlooked and wonder why. Perhaps it is because her greatest period was in the 1950s and ‘60s, before your organization was formed, or perhaps it is because she mostly operated as a as an independent writer, without the backing of a record or publishing company to put her case forward. As Ms. McCoy approaches her ninety-third birthday, we ask that you give her the consideration this incredibly prolific songwriter deserves.

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