b. Mary Ann Varney, 27th July 1946, Sacramento, California, U.S.A.
d. 21st June 2013, Lancaster, California, U.S.A.
Mary Love Comer was one of several singers, whose 60's material was second to none, however, the music business (being the strange creature it is), vocalists of the quality of Mary Love Comer are seldom discussed within musical business circles, with the true torches being held high by the loyal followings these singers accumulate over the years.
After performing some session work as a teenager in Los Angeles, Mary released some half a dozen singles for the Modern label in the mid 60's.
you turned my bitter into sweet - 1965 / lay this burden down - 1966
These included 'You Turn My Bitter Into Sweet' b/w 'I'm In Your Hands' (1965), 'I've Got To Get You Back' b/w 'Hey Stoney Face' (1965), Let Me Know' b/w 'Move A Little Closer' (1966), Lay This Burden Down' b/w 'Think It Over Baby' (1966), 'Baby I'll Come' b/w 'Satisfied Feeling' (1967), Talking About My Man' b/w 'Dance Children Dance' (1967) and 'Is That you?' b/w 'Let's Get Together' (1967).
These were fine, commercial soul records, very much set in the Motown sound formula, but with a singular identity of their own.
Mary managed to work with several noted writers, including Frank Wilson and Ashford & Simpson but only managed one minor R & B hit for Modern, 'Move a Little Closer' b/w 'Let Me Know' which made number 48 in 1966.
She revisited the lower reaches of the R & B Top 50 with 'The Hurt Is Just Beginning' b/w 'If You Change Your Mind' for Josie in 1968.
Mary only issued one more 45 for the Elco label, 'Born To Live With A Heartache' b/w 'There's Someone For Me', which saw the light of day in 1971.
Over the next decade she barely recorded at all.
There was a single for a film titled 'Petey Wheatstraw' called 'Joy' b/w 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town' (1977) and a single in 1979 called 'Turn Me, Turn Me, Turn Me' b/w 'Dance To My Music'.
soundtrack to petey wheatstraw - 1977 / save me - 1984
In the early Eighties there were two more singles on U-Tone and Mirage entitled 'Liquid Fire' b/w 'Tit For Tat' and 'Save Me' b/w 'Save Me' (1984).
She re-emerged as Mary Love Comer in the mid '80's, and sang updated soul with a Christian-centered message.
mary and brad love comer
It was at this time she released, arguably, her finest moment 'Come Out Of The Sandbox' b/w 'Instr.', which arrived in the form of a Co Love 45 but later appeared on the album 'His Servant Am I', released upon her and her husband, Brad E. Comer's, label Co Love Records.
his servant am i - 1988 / sin no more - 1989
There were 12" releases to compliment the Co Love Records albums. These included 'Caught Up b/w 'Standing On The Edge Of Time', 'Understanding' b/w 'In My Life' and 'Lose Your Blues'.
The U.K.'s 'Northern Soul' market ensured a tiny market for her (as it does for many other obscure soul singers), and it was in England that a CD reissue of her work appeared in the mid 90's.
The CD entitled 'Now And Then' contained old material along with some material that had not seen the light of day with 'Mr. Man' outstanding.
Since that release, Mary had not recorded, although she made a brief appearance at London's Jazz Café in September 2000.
mary and brad
In recent years, Mary was active in the church, preaching at the New Judah Christian Fellowship, with her husband Brad.
Mary, sadly, passed away in June 2013, at the age of 69.
Petey Wheatstraw Soundtrack (Magic Disc 1977)
His Servant Am I (Co Love Records 1988)
Sin No More (Co Love Records 1989)
Then & Now (Kent 1994)
Nothing But The Blood (I Am Unlimited Records 2002)
Lay This Burden Down-The Complete Modern & Best of the Co Love Sides (Kent Records 2014)