Gary McCray

Gary McCray was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma to a Cherokee Indian mother and a fiddlin’ Irish father. His mother financed his first guitar, a Fender flat top, and he went to church to find someone who could teach him his first chords. The preacher at that church showed him a D chord, then a G, which he worked on till his fingers got so sore they were “glowing red”, Gary says. But, that didn’t stop him from learning. Gary took it all in and learned to play and sing 

those old gospel tunes at first, but it didn’t take him long to adapt his newly learned skills to those country songs he was hearing on the radio. When he was only seven years old, he entered a talent contest at the state fair in Shawnee and won the five silver dollars they gave as first prize. The honorable Raymond Gary, Oklahoma’s governor at the time was there as honorary master of ceremonies to present Gary his winnings. In the governor’s introduction, he called Gary a “Songster ” from Shawnee, a name that his daddy called him till the day he died. Early on, Gary’s daddy didn’t think very much of his musical leanings, so he never got much encouragement from him. But Gary kept up his singing and playing music and pretty soon started to write songs like those he was hearing on the radio. Some of those songs were in the rock and roll style of the day, but his heart was really set on country music.

Gary McCray Audio

Message from Gary McCray


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