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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Detour To The Moon - Mary Ann McCall

No Moon At All
Detour To The Moon
Mary Ann McCall
Jubilee 1078

This is a great album from the concept and cover image to the small club sound. From the jacket copy, McCall had reservations about working clubs, but from the sample, you can hear that she had an excellent clear and bluesy voice that would have projected well and been most engaging in an intimate setting.

From the back cover: Mary Ann was born in Philadelphia May 4, 1919. Her credits include singing with Tommy Dorsey 1938, Woody Herman 1939 - 41 and Charlie Barnet, 1941 - 43. She was semi-retired for the next three years and then rejoined Herman from 1946 to 1950, working also as a single during that time and later. Following this she worked with Charlie Ventura through most of 1954. "For the next three years or so" Mary Ann says, "I mostly stayed home in Maple Shade, New Jersey. I'd grown tired of night clubs and the way the music business was going in general. I did make one album in 1957, but that was about all. Toward the end of the year, I met Lee Magid, Al Hibbler's and Della Resse's manager, at Birdland, and he convinced me to make this album and to go back into the business again. This time thought I'm going to concentrate on concerts and tours more than clubs. A club, unless it's an intimate-type room, can do a singer a lot of harm. Offices have murdered several singers by sending them into the wrong rooms.

From McCall's wiki page: Mary Ann McCall (May 4, 1919 in Philadelphia – December 14, 1994 in Los Angeles, California) was a practitioner of both traditional pop music and vocal jazz. Along with solo work she sang for Tommy Dorsey and Woody Herman's bands. She was briefly married to Al Cohn. In 1949 she won the Down Beat Readers Poll for "Girl Singer (With Band)".[1]

Mary Ann never became as commercially successful as her talent might have otherwise allowed. She worked as a bartender in a popular but rather disreputable bar called "the forty-niner" in L.A. (located on the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Western Ave.) from roughly 1974 to 1976. The bar featured nude-dancers, as well as catering to the gay and lesbian crowd. She often amazed patrons with her singing ability and outgoing personality.

Like many great but not famous jazz musicians, she slowly ended her career by playing jazz in airport bars, notably at LAX.

Detour Ahead
I Wished On The Moon
The Moon Was Yellow
Oh! You Crazy Moon
Moonlight Becomes You
Shine On Harvest Moon
Blue Moon
East Of The Sun
No Moon At All
It's Only A Paper Moon
Moon Country


  1. Just wondering, do you download these albums? And how do you download them?[thanks for your good work]

    1. Thanks for stopping by. In most cases, due to server space, time and for a quick listen, I post only samples. The sample is found under the album cover. Mobile devices and tablets won't display the Flash player. Mark

  2. I love Mary Ann and this is my absolute favorite jazz vocal album. When the CD was reissued in Japan in 2011, I bought multiple copies. The remastered CD reissue was a real treat as it really showcase the full clarity of her voice.

    This lady is just saturated with all the virtues of jazz. Excellent projection, a bright clean tone, rhythmically in-tune, and a propensity for the blues greater than most of her contemporaries (including Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan)


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