R.I.P. legendary Motown producer Clay McMurray

(September 6, 2019) He was musical royalty in Detroit, and played a role in some of the biggest soul music hits of the 70s. Tonight we are sad to inform SoulTrackers of the death of the great producer, engineer and songwriter, Clay McMurray.

McMurray first made waves in 1967 when he teamed with local singer Spyder Turner to create a fun and humorous take on Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” that had Turner singing the song while doing impressions of such notables as Smokey Robinson, Jackie Wilson and David Ruffin. The song became a smash hit and Turner’s signature song, shooting into the upper ranks of both the R&B and Pop charts.

(September 6, 2019) He was musical royalty in Detroit, and played a role in some of the biggest soul music hits of the 70s. Tonight we are sad to inform SoulTrackers of the death of the great producer, engineer and songwriter, Clay McMurray.

McMurray first made waves in 1967 when he teamed with local singer Spyder Turner to create a fun and humorous take on Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” that had Turner singing the song while doing impressions of such notables as Smokey Robinson, Jackie Wilson and David Ruffin. The song became a smash hit and Turner’s signature song, shooting into the upper ranks of both the R&B and Pop charts.

Four years later, McMurray would help create a classic, producing Gladys Knight’s first #1 Motown hit, the McMurray, Pam Sawyer and Gloria Jones composition “If I Were Your Woman,” a song that has become an all-timer, and that has been remade several times – but none as great as the original.

Over the following years, McMurray worked with virtually all the great Motown acts, from The Four Tops to The Spinners to The Supremes. He then followed fellow Motown producer Norman Whitfield and worked on the monster movie soundtrack for Car Wash.

Clay McMurray continued to be a force in Detroit music for years after national fame faded, and he helped groom multiple generations of artists, with the years of wisdom and experience he obtained. He will be missed.

By Chris Rizik

 
Featured Album - Will Downing - "Romantique, Part 1"
Featured Album - The Soul Rebels - "Poetry In Motion"
Album of the Month - Plunky & Oneness - "Afroclectic"
Choice Cut - Chris Jasper - "For The Love of You"

Leave a comment!