Singer/songwriter Sundray Tucker is the sensational Cindy Scott, a Philly soul legend & the First Lady of Soul at Driving Wheel Records
Cindy Scott, real name Sundray Tucker, was born in Philadelphia, the eldest daughter of Louise Tucker and Ira Tucker, legendary lead singer with the Gospel group The Dixie Hummingbirds.
Her sister is Lynda Laurence (of The Supremes) and her brother, Ira Tucker Jnr, was one time manager of Stevie Wonder.
At the age of 14, whilst in 9th grade, Sundray sang in a Philly group called The Ordettes. Also in this group was a young girl by the name of Patricia Louise Holt, who later became Patti La Belle. The Ordettes soon merged with another group, The Del Capris, to form the first line-up of The Bluebells. The Bluebells first signing was to Rainbow Records, but in 1962 the group moved to car dealer Harold B. Robinson’s Newtown label. Ironically, The Bluebells weren’t featured on their first big hit I Sold My Heart To The Junkman. This was recorded by another of Robinson’s groups, The Chicago Starlets, who cut the record while The Bluebells were on the road. Sundray stayed with the group for 2 years before being replaced by Cindy Birdsong.
Sundray’s debut recording as a solo artist was at the age of 16, when she recorded Have It Your Way on Texas based Peacock Records. She also released I’ve Got A Good Thing and Nobody Will and was involved with Bernadelli Productions where she began to write material with Leon Huff of Gamble & Huff fame.
In early 1968 Sundray worked in a carnival as a singer, a chorus line dancer and was involved with a snake act called Medusa! During that year Sundray signed to Madera White Productions. Whilst with Madera White, Sundray recorded on the Neptune label under the name of Cindy Scott. The name change was to thwart Don Robey, the late, nefarious owner of Peacock Records. The deal soured when Robey refused to record her again, or free her from the stifling contract, so she adopted the alias and recorded incognito. She chose this name after people remarked how much she looked like Cindy Birdsong. Her best friend at school was also named Kay Scott.
Sundray’s releases as Cindy Scott included I Love You Baby, a huge hit on the UK’s Northern Soul scene, with it’s B-side In Your Spare Time. Issued in the USA on the Veep label, the single gained considerable airplay throughout the Eastern Coast. Cindy also dueted with her cousin, Philly artist Bunny Sigler on the smokily soulful We’re Only Human (and it’s B-side – Didn’t Take Long For The News To Get Around) and Conquer The World Together.
In 1970 Sundray joined Ernie Terrell’s group The Heavyweights replacing his sister Jean, who had been asked to join The Supremes after the departure of Diana Ross. Earlier in 1969, Lynda Laurence along with Syreeta sang background vocals on Stevie Wonder’s Signed Sealed Delivered. Stevie wanted a group to accompany him on a forthcoming tour, so Lynda formed The Third Generation along with her sister Sundray and Terri Hendricks. This group later became the basis for Wonderlove.
Sundray recorded sporadically throughout the1970’s. She performed background vocals for Stevie Wonder on Ordinary Pain, as featured on his “Songs in the Key of Life” album, and along with sister Lynda Laurence appeared on recordings by Bobby Womack, Melissa Manchester, Stephen Sinclair & Cerrone. Sundray also appeared with Lynda on a disco version of the “I Love Lucy” TV show theme.
The record became a big disco hit in the US, released under the name of The Wilton Street Band, which was put together by Lynda’s former husband Trevor Laurence. In 1979 Thelma Houston recorded two of Sundray’s songs for her “Ready to Roll” album. The two songs in question being “Pardon Me” and “Imaginary Paradise.”
During the early 1980’s Sundray lived and worked in Florida and recorded for the legendary TK and Grace Note labels. Her releases included Fancy Dancer, If It Was Me and Is It Possible.
Later in the 1980’s Sundray toured as a backing vocalist for Glady Horton’s Marvelettes and featured in the group’s video. She also provided background vocals for “The Former Ladies of The Supremes” comeback concert at Long Beach California in 1987.
In 1993 Sundray replaced Jean Terrell yet again, making her debut with the “The Former Ladies of The Supremes” on tour in Japan. More significant was Sundray’s contribution to the 1994 CD release Supreme Voices. However, Sundray’s tenure with the ladies was relatively shortlived and in 1996 she left the group to concentrate on an acting career. In 1998 Sundray filmed a pilot and four episodes for a US tv series called “Ms. Hollywood” for the BET network. But her love for music couldn’t keep Sundray away for too long.
In 1999 Sundray teamed up with British record producer David Powner to record her first ever solo album, reverting back to the name of Cindy Scott. Recorded in England, the resulting album The Loving Country was released in the autumn of 1999 and received many rave reviews, amongst them a 4.5 star rating (out of 5) at Allmusic.
In summer 2000, Sundray/Cindy made her UK solo stage debut in Wolverhampton, England. The show was recorded and subsequently released as a souvenir album to limited release in 2002 under the title Live and Red Hot.
In 2004, Cindy’s follow-up studio album, The Loving Country 2 was released.