By Alynda Wheat Paul Chi Carlos Greer Mia McNiece
June 24, 2013 12:00 PM

>From the Rolling Stones to Ray Charles, Merry Clayton was music legends’ secret weapon.

ON “GIMME SHELTER”

I was in bed with curlers on and got the call. Lo and behold, it was Keith and Mick. My voice was hoarse. They said, “We bloody love the squeak!”

ON “SWEET HOME ALABAMA”

My husband had to make me sing that song. He understood why it was important to have black voices on it. There was nothing sweet about Alabama. You can hear our anger.

ON RAY CHARLES

We were called in the middle of the night [to sing “Let’s Go Get Stoned”]. I didn’t know anything about getting stoned! I was 19.

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