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MP3 Mary Kelly - The Women I Wanted To Be

Country the way it used to be -- a jazz singer goes back to her roots to record a tribute to the great ladies of country: Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells, Crystal Gayle, Loretta Lynn and more...

16 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Traditional Country, EASY LISTENING: Crooners/Vocals

Mary Kelly is an extremely talented and versatile singer who sang just about every genre of music in her younger years, but recently came back to her country roots. She grew up in the 60''s on a cattle ranch in Nebraska and a farm in Colorado listening to country-western music on the radio and her parents’ big-band records. She performed folk music at college and sat in with local country-western bands. She married,had a child, then joined her first real band, a local folk-rock group, Evergreen.

The band didn’t last too long, and she “gave up” music and moved to California and had another baby. When her marriage ended, she returned to Denver with her two daughters and starting singing her own songs in the local coffee houses. By chance, in 1976 she met and started sitting in with Your Father’s Mustache Band. She fit in perfectly with their good time attitude and great musicianship, and soon became a regular member. The Mustache Band played often at the Bull ‘n Bush Pub in Denver, and every weekend during ski season at the Red Ram in Georgetown, Colorado, plus lots of parties, conventions, weddings, etc.

After several years with the Mustache Band, Mary went to New Orleans in 1979 and spent a year soaking up jazz and Cajun music and working as a bartender in the French Quarter. When she returned to Denver, she sang for a few months with a country-rock band, Due West, and often with the Mustache Band. Then she married again and moved to Cocoa Beach, Florida with her husband and daughters. There she joined Topaz, a top 40 club and studio band based in Melbourne, Florida. She also had a real job at Kennedy Space Center.

After five years with Topaz, she took a leave from the band, her job and her marriage to return to college. The Shuttle explosion ended her job in the space program, so she left her teen-aged girls with her parents in Colorado and hit the road with Sagebrush, another country rock band formed in Florida, for a fall tour in New England. The band hooked up with a gospel singer named Ron Roberts in Granville, New York where they played at a local club on the weekends.

Sagebrush and Roberts were the opening act for Loretta Lynn, George Jones, and Charlie Pride that autumn, but after a very cold winter in Vermont, Mary left New England and headed down to the warmth and opportunities in Nashville where she spent five years learning the business of music and songwriting. She had some tunes published and a couple of them recorded, but her family always brought her back to Colorado.

In 1992, her mother became ill and Mary went back to Colorado. Her mother passed away, her girls grew up and moved on, and she started driving the 90 miles to Denver to sing with the Mustache Band again. She finally moved back to Denver in 1995, joined the band again full time and has been with them ever since. Her daughters both live on the West Coast and Mary now has two granddaughters.

In 2005 Mary went back to Nashville and recorded a solo CD of country classics, featuring the songs that she heard on the radio back when she was growing up, tunes by Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells, Connie Frances and others. She named it in honor of those voices she remembered as a child, “The Women I Wanted To Be.”

Mary and Your Father’s Mustache Band still play on Sunday nights at the Bull n’ Bush in Denver and have performed at many traditional jazz festivals, including Sacramento, CA; Mammoth Lakes, CA; Helena, MT; Lander, WY; and Boulder, CO. They will be at the Monterey, CA Festival in February of 2007. They are currently preparing to record their third C.D. in the fall of 2006.

You can learn more about the band at https://www.tradebit.com and more about Mary at https://www.tradebit.com.

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