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Oscar-nominated ’20 Feet From Stardom’ Gives Voice To Back-up Singers

“20 Feet from Stardom” is nominated for Best Documentary at the 2014 Academy Awards.
Oscar-nominated ’20 Feet From Stardom’ Gives Voice To Back-up Singers

Via PBS News Hour:

It was the middle of the night in 1969. Merry Clayton, a respected back-up singer, receives a call to help the Rolling Stones. Donning her robe and curlers, Clayton trots over to the studio and records the now-famous screaming vocals on “Gimme Shelter.” In three takes.

“That is probably the greatest back-up performance of all time … that song has such energy and anger — the screaming voice of Merry,” said Morgan Neville, who directed the Oscar-nominated documentary “20 Feet from Stardom.” Clayton is one of the back-up singers heavily featured.

“In the film, we get her isolated vocal track a...

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