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McCaslin

Folk Singer Mary McCaslin, Dead At 75

McCaslin on the cover of her 1974 album Way Out West. (Philo)
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LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Mary McCaslin, a singer and songwriter known for innovative guitar style and folk renditions of pop and rock hits such as The Who’s Pinball Wizard, has died. She was 75.

Her husband, Greg Arrufat, told the New York Times that she died on October 2nd at her home near Los Angeles of progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare neurological disease similar to Parkinson’s.

Born in Indiana and raised in Southern California, McCaslin started her music career in the mid-1960s, performing during open mic nights at the famed Los Angeles nightspot The Troubadour.

Drawing inspiration from artists such as Marty Robbins, Joan Baez, and Joni Mitchell, she developed a reputation for her earnest, traditional performance style and became a frequent booking at coffee houses and folk festivals.

She released her first album, Goodnight Everybody on Barnaby Records in 1969, covering the music of artists such as The Beatles and the Supremes but lacked any original music and didn’t generate much attention.

McCaslin had her breakout moment in 1974 with the release of her second album, Way Out West. Released by Philo Records, the album featured almost all original material, including Way Out West, which would become one of her signature songs.

During the 1970s, she met Arkansas folk singer Jim Ringer and began performing with him. The two eventually married in 1978 and released the album The Bramble & the Rose as a duo. Ringer’s health issues sidelined McCaslin through much of the 1980s and they seperated in 1989.

Her final album was the self-released Better Late Than Never ‎in 2006.

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