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December 28, 2021 50 min

(Recorded October 6, 2021) Even if you don’t know the name Merry Clayton, you know her voice. It’s the one belting on The Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter and it is remarkable - you can actually hear Mick Jagger hooting and hollering in the background after Clayton sings the hook. Clayton started providing backing vocals for Bobby Darin as a teenager and went on to record with Ray Charles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Carole King, Neil Young, and the list goes on and on. Her story is featured in the 2013 documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, which celebrated the often-overlooked contributions of backup singers to popular songs and won the Oscar for Best Documentary. Following a near-fatal car accident, Clayton has returned to release her first solo album in more than 25 years, Beautiful Scars. 


This episode introduces guest host Talia Schlanger, who will occasionally be featured on Here’s the Thing. Schlanger is a performer, musician, and broadcaster. She has interviewed hundreds of artists as the former host of the NPR-distributed program World Cafe and throughout her career at CBC. 

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