Cindy Scott, real name Sundray Tucker, was born in the northern part of Philadelphia into a gospel family, the patriarch of which was Ira Tucker Snr., famed lead voice of legendary gospel group, the Dixie Hummingbirds. Her sister is Lynda Laurence and her cousin was the late Tammi Terrell. By the time she was fourteen, Sundray was combining ninth grade studies with vocal chores as a member of Philly group, the Ordettes, whose line-up included one Patricia Holt better known nowadays as Patti Labelle. At Newtown, they became the Bluebelles and were clearly set for a professional career but Louise Tucker felt Sundray had some schooling to finish. 'We had been doing these record hops and I really didn't want to go to school anymore,' said Sundray. 'My mother said 'you're to go', so she took me out of the group.' The young girl from Camden, New Jersey, who replaced Sundray, was Cindy Birdsong. Mother, schoolwork or not, Sundray soon got chance to get back to singing. The Dixie Hummingbirds were best-selling artists for Don Robey's Peacock label and Sundray followed her father to the company for her first solo recording, I Got A Good Thing c/w Have It Your Way, billed by Peacock as Sandra Kay Tucker. 'I had started writing songs and my father took some of the things I had written to Don Robey. He signed me as a writer and as an artist as well.' Sundray soon hooked up with Philadelphia based Frank Bendinelli and Leroy Lovett, who were running a production company in the City of Brotherly Love. 'They took us on as writing partners and they also recorded me as well as our songs on a number of artists, including the Persianettes, Timmy & the Empires and the Companions.' It was during the time with Ben-Lee that the name-change to Cindy Scott came about. 'It was because of Don Robey that I changed it,' explained Sundray. 'He had me under contract for five years and he refused to record me after the first time. So I thought 'I'm not just going to sit here and do nothing' and when I got with Frank and Leroy, I decided I'd have to change my name, so I did. My best friend at school was called Kay Scott. She had my middle name, so I took her last name. When I was with the Bluebelles, everybody thought Cindy and I resembled each other, so I took her first name. That's how that came about.' In 1967 Sundray signed with Johnny Madara and Dave White, who had worked with Len Barry, and they took her to the United Artists' Veep subsidiary for the northern favourite, I Love You Baby. After a further Veep single combining a version of Otis Redding's I've Been Loving You Too Long with Time Can Change A Love, UA wound up the label and Sundray (Cindy) moved on to Neptune. Two singles were issued on Neptune, both duets with Bunny Sigler. In 1980, Sundray opted to relocate to Miami, finally moving back to Philadelphia in 1999. 'I just wanted to go [to Miami],' explained Sundray. 'I had never been and, at that time, my dad had an office there, at TK, and I just wanted to go and see what it was all about.' While in Florida, she recorded sporadically for various local labels, including TK (If It Was Me) and Grace Note (Is It Possible). Demand from fans in Britain has now got Sundray back into the recording studios this side of the Atlantic. Together with Vera Carey (founder member of The Persianettes) on background, the results promise to be impressive. Sundray enthused; 'I'm elated. I'm loving it because I like the material that I'm doing. I think it's great.' Patti Labelle, reminiscing about the Ordettes in her auto-biography, 'Don't Block The Blessings', says of Sundray then and now; '[She] could really blow. Still can. Music is in her blood.'
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