Marlina Burgess, 22 September 1944, New Rochelle, New York, USA. At the age of 10 Shaw made a modestly successful appearance at the Apollo theatre but her mother ruled against the little girl going on tour with her uncle, trumpeter Jimmy Burgess. She began working in the New Rochelle area, developing into a cocktail lounge-type jazz singer who occasionally ventured onto the soul music charts. Her career moved into a higher gear in 1963, and was discovered by Chess Records in 1966 while singing on the Playboy lounge circuit. On Chess Cadet subsidiary, under the aegis of producer Richard Evans, she performed vocal counterparts of jazz hits such as Joe Zawinuls Mercy Mercy Mercy (number 33 R&B, number 58 pop) and Ramsey Lewis Wade In The Water. Chess released two albums and a series of singles before Shaw left the company in 1968.
For the next five years Shaw performed periodically with Count Basie,...
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