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Marsha Gee

Cleveland, 1965

Marhsa Gee was likely a stage name for a singer who was almost certainly from Cleveland, although her real identity is still not known. There's no obvious mention in the Cleveland papers for anyone named Marsha (or Marcia) Gee or similar. It's possible that she was Shirley Ann Grady - the last name fits - who had a co-writing credit with Ed Wright on the Barbara Lee 45.

She recorded one 45 with the Smashville team in 1965, and like another Smashville production, the Intertains, her record was released on Uptown records, Capitol's R&B focussed subsidiary. "Baby I Need You" is stomping uptempo pop/soul record that has the Cleveland sound DNA all over it, reminiscent of "I'm Not Worth It" by Bocky or "Bitter Candy" by the Five Gents. "I'll Never Be Free" is a very nice midtempo record. 

In the 1970s an uncredited acetate demo record, song titled "Peanut Duck", was played on the UK Northern Soul scene and later cut onto a 45 for the DJ/collector market. When the record was pressed, the wise guys behind decided to credit the artist as Marsha Gee, just as an in-joke on the NS scene, and that association has stuck with the song through additional collector marker releases. No one thinks that the singer of "Peanut Duck" is the same as Marsha Gee on Uptown, but as part of a long entrenched scene and until the real singer of "Peanut Duck" is revealed, it will be stuck with the Marsha Gee label.

That's all we know for now.

Baby, I Need You / I'll Never Be Free (Because I Love You So) - Uptown 704, June 1965