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Little Marcy

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There has never been a recording artist quite like Marcy Tigner. Equal parts gospel singer, children’s entertainer, amateur ventriloquist, and cottage industry, during the 1960s and 1970s Tigner released some 40-odd LPs, books, toys, and souvenirs showcasing the devoutly Christian messages she transmitted via her impossibly high, childlike singing voice and her impossibly freaky ventriloquist dummy Little Marcy. Though largely inactive from the 1980s onward, she retained a large fan following, although in latter years her core audience counted far fewer Sunday school students than collectors of so-called “incredibly strange music. ” Tigner was born and raised in Wichita, KS; the product of a devoutly religious family, as a child she first studied piano, but after hearing a trombonist playing gospel music, she adopted the instrument for her own. As a teen Tigner won a series of statewide and national trombone contests before branching out into vocal lessons; however, her naturally high, girlish voice initially proved a liability, and she eventually returned to the trombone full-time. During the early ’60s she made her recorded debut on the prolific sacred music imprint Whitney with the instrumental Some Golden Daybreak, backed by noted organist and label head Lorin Whitney. For the Christian Faith label she also recorded an LP titled simply Trombone.

After Tigner’s husband, Everett, overheard a group of record company executives discussing plans to hire child singers to make a children’s album, she and Whitney entered the studio to record her rendition of the standard “Jesus Loves Me” as a showcase for her own childlike voice.

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