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Mamie Galore

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Born Mamie Davis in Erwin, MS, Mamie Galore started singing as a young girl in church. By the end of the 1950s, she was singing with Herman Scott & the Swinging Kings, and later joined the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. A big (but attractive) woman with a voice to match, she couldn't stay long in the anonymity of the Turner show, and by 1962 she'd moved on. That year, Galore also left the Delta for Chicago, where she was a backup singer for Little Milton; she also recorded for Monk Higgins' St. Lawrence label, which was, conveniently enough, distributed by Chess Records -- it was at this time that she changed her name to Mamie Galore, an obvious play on Goldfinger's "Pussy Galore" character name and a perfect publicity ploy in view of her first single, "Secret Agent 36-24-38," itself an attempt to mine the same vein that had yielded the label a hit from Jamo Thomas in "I Spy for the FBI." Galore's first two singles stiffed, but her third, "It Ain't Necessary," did see some chart success. She was later the beneficiary of a production deal that Higgins signed with Imperial Records that got her releases switched to that much bigger, nationally distributed label, and also resulted in her being paired off with Dee Irwin as a duet. Galore's recording career had ended by 1970, however, after a string of singles failed to chart. She remained a popular performer in the area surrounding the Mississippi Delta for decades after, however, and never stopped appearing locally. Galore passed away in 2001. ~ Bruce Eder