Some of the most talented people in the music industry aren’t the ones who get on stage and perform or record songs in the studio. They’re the songwriters.
There have been a lot of songwriters in history who have written some of the greatest songs in music history but don’t get a lot of credit as they weren’t the ones to perform them.
Rose Marie McCoy was one of those under-appreciated songwriters who wrote songs for an impressive list of performers, including Nat King Cole, Elvis Presley, and Aretha Franklin.
Rose was born in Arkansas in 1922. When she was 19-years-old, she made the brave journey to New York City with little money to her name in 1942. Rose lived in Harlem and worked in laundromats to make money while performing in various nightclubs, opening for prominent performers.
Meanwhile, Rose began writing songs of her own. By the 1950s, her songs were noticed, and she was signed to the rhythm and blues label Wheeler Records. She co-wrote the song “Gabbin’ Blues,” which was recorded by famous R&B singer Big Maybelle and eventually reached No. 3 on the Billboard R&B chart, kick-starting her career as a songwriter.
Rose went on to write more successful songs for Big Maybelle and then began collaborating with songwriter Charles Singleton in the early 1950s. They collaborated and worked together for around eight years. In 1954, they wrote a ballad called “Tryin’ to Get to You” for The Eagles, and it was recorded and picked up by a young Elvis Presley before he was ‘The King,’ and included on his first studio album.
Through the 1950s into the 1960s, Rose and Charles continued to churn out songs for several artists, including Nat King Cole, Eartha Kit, Little Willie John, and Eddy Arnold. After Rose and
Charles decided to end their partnership and start writing independently, Rose found great success after her 1961 song “I Think It’s Gonna Work Out Fine” was recorded by Ike and Tina Turner.
“I Think It’s Gonna Work Out Fine” earned a Grammy nomination and reached No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100.