Most Wanted! Gwen McCrae – 90% Of Me Is You (Cat)
Now, you don’t tell me this lady isn’t under your spell! “What can I do?”, she vibrantly asked back in 1974. “How can I do the things I Wanna do, when 90% of me is you???” And, by that, reproducing the interrogation Vanessa Kendrick just happened to express the year before on Glades Records.
Differently said, and you would probably have guessed it, Gwen McCrae came up with a cover version of ‘90% Of Me Is You’. And this, with the same producers (Clarence Reid and Steve Alaimo). This explaining why the surroundings sound the same from a release to another. And what a job Reid and Alaimo did. Thus giving birth to one of those Soul masterpieces. Although, and with no offense to Vanessa Kendrick, Gwen McCrae pretty much pushed to the next level. To such an extend ‘90% Of Me Is You’ ended up becoming one of her signature songs.
On some hypnotizing smooth funky soul tip, ‘90% Of Me Is You’ belongs to the first league. In the caliber of those pieces of art such as Curtis Mayfield‘s ‘Freddie’s Dead’. If not ‘Home Is Where The Hatred Is’ as sung by Esther Phillips.
Pensacola, FL-born Gwen Mosley first started singing along with her former husband, George McCrae in the 60’s. There she got brought to the attention of label manager Henry Stone (TK Records) by Betty Wright (born the same day as her). From then, she would drop a series of jams contributing to her recognition along with time. From her cover version of Bobby Bland‘s ‘Lead Me On’, to ‘Rockin’ Chair’. Not to mention the seminal ‘Rock Your Baby’ with her husband. And how could we ever forget the smooth ‘90% Of Me Is You’ back in 1974? If not the firing Betty Wright produced ‘All This Love That I’m Givin” in 1979. A cut which eventually resurfaced 11 years after on UK label Outer Rhythm.
She relocated to New Jersey after TK Records collapsed and signed a record deal with Atlantic. She then scored her biggest (Disco/Funk) successes with ‘Funky Sensation’. A cut produced by Kenton Nix from her 1981 released self-titled debut album. The uplifting ‘Keep The Fire Burning’ coming up the year after. Written by Wille Hutch and produced by Webster Lewis. A cut which Glasgow-based producer Graeme Clarke revamped in an even more energetic way 28 years after under his The Revenge guise. Eventually turning its title into ‘Keep This Fire Burning’.
Gwen McCrae has released a total of 12 albums from 1974 to 2006, including a live and a TK Records Best Of. In addition to this, she eventually shared the bill with Ferry Ultra back in 2010 on ‘Let Me Do My Thang’. A cut which resurfaced 5 years later with remixing work courtesy of Opolopo.
On a sad June 02, 2012, back from a live performance, Gwen had a stroke in her hotel room in England. This resulting in a paralysis on the left side of her body and her inability to walk.