Rose Marie McCoy to Receive Honor

Rose Marie McCoy, one of the most prolific songwriters of the twentieth century, has penned more than 850 published songs in a career than spans more than 60 years. Ms. McCoy began as a singer in Arkansas, and later found success performing in such venues as Harlem's Baby Grand, Montreal's Montmartre, Detroit's Flame Show Bar, and Toronto's Basin Street. But it was her skill as a songwriter that caught the attention of record labels like Motown and Atlantic.

McCoy penned songs for such performers as Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Eartha Kitt, Bette Midler and Ray Charles. Elvis Presley recorded McCoy's “I Beg of You" and “Trying to Get to You." Ike and Tina Turner scored one of their biggest hits with McCoy's “Gonna Work out Fine." Ms. McCoy has stated of the song: “I wrote it, but I didn't really care for it. My writing partner, Sylvia McKinney (of the duo Mickey & Sylvia) told me I had to “hear this girl sing it." When Ike and Tina Turner came to New York, I went up to the Apollo to see them. Ike called Tina in the room. He said “Sing that song." She didn't say a word, but she sang. She sang like her life depended on it. I told Sylvia, if she sounds that good now, I can't wait to hear her with music." The song went gold and received a Grammy nomination.

In 2006, when American Songwriter Magazine paid tribute to nine all time great songwriters, Rose Marie McCoy was the only female named. On Tuesday, April 29, at 6:00 PM, Rose Marie McCoy will be honored at Community Works' harlem is... MUSIC, Ladies Singing the Blues: The Reunion, at New York City's Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Ms. McCoy will join Maxine Brown, Juanita Brooks, Lady Cantrese, Ghanniyya Green, Sandra Reaves-Phillips, LeeOlive Tucker and Baby Washington. These ladies participated in the eight-show year-long Ladies Singing the Blues performance series. The series celebrates the sounds and stories of internationally acclaimed female blues crooners.

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