RIP Silverbelle Mary McCaslin

[SB Bill (Hinesburg SBs) alerted us to the passing of Mary McCaslin. The company he co-founded, Philo Records, recorded, produced, and distributed some of her most memorable music. Some day, promises SB Bill, he’ll give us the behind-the-scenes scoop on his Philo days. SB SM]


LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Mary McCaslin, a singer and songwriter known for innovative guitar style and folk renditions of pop and rock hits such as The Who’s Pinball Wizard, has died. She was 75.

Her husband, Greg Arrufat, told the New York Times that she died on October 2nd at her home near Los Angeles of progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare neurological disease similar to Parkinson’s.

Born in Indiana and raised in Southern California, McCaslin started her music career in the mid-1960s, performing during open mic nights at the famed Los Angeles nightspot The Troubadour.

Drawing inspiration from artists such as Marty Robbins, Joan Baez, and Joni Mitchell, she developed a reputation for her earnest, traditional performance style and became a frequent booking at coffee houses and folk festivals.

She released her first album, Goodnight Everybody on Barnaby Records in 1969, covering the music of artists such as The Beatles and the Supremes but lacked any original music and didn’t generate much attention.

McCaslin had her breakout moment in 1974 with the release of her second album, Way Out West. Released by Philo Records, the album featured almost all original material, including Way Out West, which would become one of her signature songs.

During the 1970s, she met Arkansas folk singer Jim Ringer and began performing with him. The two eventually married in 1978 and released the album The Bramble & the Rose as a duo. Ringer’s health issues sidelined McCaslin through much of the 1980s and they seperated in 1989.

Her final album was the self-released Better Late Than Never ‎in 2006.

(from Wikipedia) Philo Records was founded in 1973 by half-brothers Michael Couture and Bill Schubart[1] to record and distribute folk and traditional music. Over the course of its nine-year history, before its sale to Rounder Records in 1982, Philo produced roughly 100 albums of folk, traditional, and later, jazz, world, and new music from a converted barn-studio in North Ferrisburg, Vermont. Philo’s allure to many established and emerging artists was its policy of giving them full control over their productions and repertoire.

One thought on “RIP Silverbelle Mary McCaslin

  1. Mary was my all time favorite! I loved her style. Way Out West was one of my favorite record albums.

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