The Mystery Of Charly McClain

As hard as it might be to believe, the GMC is approaching seven years of existence and has featured almost twelve-hundred articles. At least half of those (and probably more) have been profiles of various musical performers from the past, and during that time I’ve noticed some similarities in how their careers progressed in later years. ch

Most of them stayed at least semi-active as they got older, and occasionally performed for their fans in at least a limited way. But there were a few who seemed to completely disappear from public view, which is certainly their right but can still make for an interesting discussion. One example was a GMC piece titled Whatever Happened To R.B. Greaves?, which received a lot of comments that eventually led to the news that he’d recently died.

Which brings us to country songstress Charlotte ‘Charly’ McClain, who is obviously still alive but seems to have pretty much stayed out of the spotlight for the last two decades. The Memphis-born singer was just in her early thirties when she made her last new album in 1989, and had enjoyed more than a decade of success that included Number-One hits like “Who’s Cheatin’ Who” and “Radio Heat,” along with Top Ten records like “Men,” “Surround Me With Love,” “Dancing Your Memory Away,” and “Sentimental Of You.” She also had a chart-topper with “Paradise Tonight” as part of a duet with Mickey Gilley.

But based on what is readily available online, she appears to have last performed professionally in the early 1990s. I found mention of a fan club, but it looks pretty inactive. She’s also on Facebook, but I’m not sure if someone else maintains that for her, and I’m no expert (In fact, I’m pretty much Facebook-dumb) but it looks sort of sparse. Someone identifying themselves as Charly McClain does occasionally post a comment so there’s that, but it looks like she is well and truly retired from music. If anyone knows otherwise, please let us know!

chcdCharly McClain – “Who’s Cheatin’ Who”

20 thoughts on “The Mystery Of Charly McClain

  1. Wow, I was sooooo in love with this woman back in da’ day. Went to sleep many a night dreamin’ about her “takin’ me to paradise”. I was just 21 back then. Now I’m much older than she was when she first cut this with the Great Mickey Gilley. Time flies, it surely does…but I bet she’s still hot as hell!!!


  2. When we were just teens and Charly was just starting out I played bass for her band The Volunteers.

    She is true talent and I would love see her again and say jello.


  3. Gary, there is a Facebook page “Charly McClain Fan Page” that her sister Wanda and Wanda’s daughter, JUST joined, a few days ago, and are posting some pictures, answering some questions, etc. Maybe join that group and ask away! ….. Jimmy Shipwreck Adams


  4. I recently remembered her and started wondering ‘what happened’ myself. Given the content of some of her songs, my guess is that she had some kind of spiritual experience… perhaps she has regrets in having been involved in producing music that borders on being indecent. If that is the case I applaud her quiet escape from ‘the industry’


  5. Charly is still happily married to Wayne. She does miss the making of music but not the traveling. She left the business becaue quite frankly touring so much just became to much and she was exhausted. She was ready to settle down into married life with Wayne full time when she bowed out of the business. I still speak with her and her sister Wanda frequently. It does make Char happy to know that she hasn’t been forgotten and feels so blessed to have been given the rare opportunity to share her voice with the world


  6. I run her official facebook fanpage so everyone feel free to join. Char still loves hearing from her fans. Her sister Wanda is also a member of the fan page. When people join and wish to send something to Char I am always happy to give my address and forward it on to her. I don’t open it. I simply forward it. It makes her day to hear from fans and one of the last conversation’s i had with her she said to me “Ronnie give my love to everyone in the group and also tell them we spoke and YES I am still alive. LOL is the fan pages facebook link


    1. Born and raised Texan, my wife is from Mexico City. In my effort to familiarize her with the music I grew up with, when it comes to country, I’ve played her two artist’s. Charly Mcclain and John Wesley Ryles. “Kaye” and “the most beautiful thing in the world is a woman”. I too would really like to see Charly sing some songs once more. Her lyrics are timeless and fit no matter the decade.


  7. My daddy heard her sing on the radio, n when they announced her name he said, that little boy sure has a very sweet voice, so for alota years I thought she was a male, until I seen her on Hee- hAw ,n let me tell you ,….me n I guess a million other young men of the time were instantly in love with this beautiful angel, with the angelic voice that for the rest of my life, no other voice could compare !!!!I REALLY WISH SHE WOULD COME OUT WOTH A NEW SONG,BECAUSE I KNOW FOR A FACT SHE COULD PUT A LOT OF SINGERS TO SHAME ,…..MALE,AND FEMALE,…..THANK U MAAM,FOR ALL THE GREAT MUSIC OF MY CHILDHOOD,…N GODBLESS U!!!!


  8. She and her husband, Wayne Massey are the first two celebrities I ever met whenever I started autograph collecting. A local grocery store chain used to host Cancer Control. Celebrities and athletes came to their various stores and signed autographs for about an hour. I was just as thrilled to meet her husband as I was her because I loved him as Johnny Drummond on One Life To Live. He’s also a fine singer in his own right. They were both just as nice and as friendly as can be. By the way, in the songs you listed you left out her finest one, “Surround Me With Love”.


  9. She’s far to talented to be letting her country music drift away,it’s sad,but life’s sometimes life is sad with the way the worlds going on.I’ve been into country since 1949 Age ,7,years of age,I’m 76, this year,I want you Charly Our radio country stations would send your music to the moon.i’m my own boss,it’s my hobby I don’t get paid in what I do.If I was to tell you I’m getting over two strokes. I was a close friend with the late Mrs.JimReeves,for 36 years.i mean close .i even went to meet her with my wife,and Kitty wells 22,years,Patsy Clines Lat mother.Hilda Henley.
    We spoke on the phone.
    We need you,your country and my country need you!!! If you give your voice up,well you need medical attention hahaha,
    How many greats like you are still out there? I’ve just been talking to my best pal 30, years in Country music .
    Sharon Anderson,another great,my Canadian country friends,Debbie and Shirley Myers from.Canada,my other friend from Oregon,Joni Harms.And the late Eva Cassidy Sister Margret,I’m a family friend 15 years ,written a story to my local news paper,hear in,Crosby,Liverpool,England UK GB,
    I’ll get you back up if you let me Charly on world wide radio stations,NSW,NZ USA anywhere ,just email me and I’ll tell you what I need.its simple,Your voice and musicians I’m listening to Anthology .you can still sing .i can still yodell since age 11 .and I haven’t lost it.Think before you give your precious country career the boot,God has given you a Gift of Life Use it.
    David Markham.
    Country Music,
    Promoter UK GB,
    Please do this now✝✝🌞🎼🎸


  10. Someone please help me find a Charly McClain song that has the lyrics “Hold me hold me tonight”. I know it was on one of her albums, but I can’t find that song anywhere.


  11. Charly McClain guest starred in an episode of the late 70s/early 80s detective romcom Hart to Hart! In addition to a starring guest role, the episode Rhinestone Harts (Season 3) featured her performing “Sleeping With the Radio On”. The season has been released on DVD, but you can also find it on Youtube.


  12. Hi, my name is Eddie Burton and I co-wrote Dancing Your Memory Away. It changed my life and really afforded me the ability to stay and work as a writer/publisher/studio musician In Nashville for over 20 years. The song was also recorded by Tammy Wynette and has been covered by over 30 artists but none have done as well as Charly McClain. I have two BMI awards for that song, a Pop award presented to me and my co-writer Tom Grant at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and a country award presented to us in Nashville in 1982. I never had the pleasure to thank Charly in person for the 20 year career she gave me. As a 73 year old retired man living in Florida I have her albums and sheet music and BMI awards on my wall in my music room. I’m eternally grateful for her recording of my song. God bless and keep you Charly.


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