Mary Stallings

Mary Stallings is an excellent example of how time, musical experience and living a full and fulfilling life are necessary to become a good vocalist and address lyrics properly. Stallings has a lifelong experience of emotional intelligence, which allows her to really inhabit a lyric. Stallings was born in San Francisco and was the middle of 11 siblings. She began performing professionally at the age of 10, along with her mother and two sisters, in a family gospel band. Her uncle Orlando Stallings, tenor-saxophonist, and bandleader, was her first introduction to jazz. Stallings’ early career was a success in the late ’50s. Her soft voice and acoustic abilities made her a sought-after performer in rare circumstances: with luminaries such as Ben Webster and Cal Tjader, Earl Hines and Red Mitchell. She also performed in nightclubs such as Hungry i and El Matador. The 1961 Cal Tjader plays, Mary Stallings sings on Fantasy Records is perhaps Stallings’ most well-known recording. This record brought her engagements in Tokyo and Manila, as well as work up and down California. She performed in Nevada for a year with Billy Eckstine in the 1960s, and she toured South America in 1965 and 1966 with Gillespie’s group. She shared the bill with Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, and Ella Fitzgerald. She enjoyed a three-year stint in the Count Basie Orchestra from 1969 to 1972. After her tours with the Basie Orchestra, she dedicated her time to R.

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