Reading obituaries on a regular basis introduces me to all sorts of people of local, national and international renown who have lived interesting/riveting/extraordinary lives. I have blogged about reading obituaries before (see link to post below). I find them so instructive and inspiring that I read a book about obituaries, The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries by Marilyn Johnson.
Rose Marie McCoy is one such person.
She was a lyricist who “composed or collaborated” on over 850 songs during her life. She on January 20 at age 92.
Imagine recording 850 songs recorded by singers in many genres including Sarah Vaughn, Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, , James Brown and Elvis Pressley.
Obituaries in The Boston Globe and New York Times acknowledge that she “was largely unheralded, recognized only belatedly in a nationwide radio documentary.”
I’ve composed a few lyrics waiting for music and a singer to find them. Reading Ms. McCoy’s obituary, George Clinton’s memoir, Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You? (which I’m half-way through), and comments from an interview I saw once with Dolly Parton, it’s clear that being a lyricist with a proper contract pays dividends beyond what singers alone get.
So, hat’s off to this lovely lyricist. I’ve got work to do and have to get back to my muse.
Rest in Peace and Glory Rose Marie McCoy.
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