Marcy Levy (a.k.a. Marcella Detroit) was born in Detroit, Michigan. She began studying violin at a young age, followed by ukelele and guitar – all by the age of 11. She attended school with Don Was. As a teenager, she would sneak into Detroit’s clubs to see Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker.
Marcy joined her first band, The Bad Luck and Troubles Blues Band, at age 18, playing in the Detroit area. Their high point was opening for David Bowie in 1972. She then moved on to Julia before her first big break as a member of Bob Seger’s band in 1973. In Seger’s band, she worked with Shaun Murphy and later Laura Creamer, all who would eventually work with Eric Clapton.
Marcy then moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to start a new band with some of the musicians in Seger’s lineup. Numerous area musicians would jam together inluding members of the Gap Band, Leon Russell and Carl Radle, who had been in Derek & The Dominos with Eric Clapton. Carl rejoined Eric’s band for the 461 Ocean Boulevard Sessions and when Eric asked him to recommend a female singer, Carl recommended Marcy.
Marcy toured and recorded as a vocalist with Eric Clapton’s band between November 1974 and July 1978 and again from November 1984 to July 1985. They co-wrote several songs together, including “Lay Down Sally,” “Innocent Times,” and “The Core”.
After her first stint with Eric in the 1970s, she spent time as a songwriter, some of which were recorded by Chaka Khan and Al Jarreau. Marcy also enjoyed success as a background vocalist / session musician working with artists like Leon Russell, Michael Boltin, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, George Benson, Melissa Manchester, Al Stewart, Belinda Carlisle and Elton John.
Eric contributed to her 1982 album, Marcella. In the mid-80s, Marcy co-wrote “Tangled in Love” which was presented to Eric. He recorded it for his album Behind The Sun and he invited Marcy to rejoin his band. After recording and touring with Eric in 1984 and 1985, she struck out on her own again.
Her friend, Richard Feldman, introduced her to Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and his wife, Siobahn Fahy (ex-Bananarama) and the two women formed Shakespeare’s Sister. The group had some notable success on the UK Singles chart. It was during her tenure with Shakespeare’s Sister that Marcy changed her name to Marcella Detroit. After Shakespeare’s Sister broke up in 1993, she recorded a solo album, Jewel.
Marcy can be heard on Eric’s albums There’s One In Every Crowd, EC Was Here, No Reason To Cry, Slowhand, Backless, and Behind The Sun.