Marky Quayle


A classy singer with a warm voice, Marky Quayle interprets lyrics with youthful enthusiasm and a real feel for its meanings. On her recordings of Jazz Standards she displays her talent at bringing new life to these classic songs from the Great American Songbook.

Marky, who was born in and grew up in San Francisco, remembers, "The earliest live music that I recall hearing was the Mary Kay Trio singing in my father's living room when I was six years old. They were on their way to a job so they were all dressed up with the men wearing tuxedos, Mary in a red chiffon flowing dress and eight months pregnant! I felt so drawn to the music and it awakened in me my gift: I knew from then on that I wanted to be a singer."

Her father was a great music lover and counted among his close friends George Shearing and Les Brown, who were his regular houseguests: Marky heard Mr. Shearing play piano there on many occasions. Her dad played vocal recordings around the house and from hearing these recordings over time, Marky says that she learned three-quarters of her repertoire by the time she was nine. Although as a teenager she listened to the rock bands that were active in San Francisco during the era, when a neighbor gave her an LP titled The Divine One by Miss Sarah Vaughan, it turned her musical life around.

Marky's first important musical job was singing with guitarist Jerry Hahn's sextet when she was 20. After two years, she went out on her own, being based for a time in Atlanta. "But after a few years I found that, in order to work and make a living, I would have to sing top 40 tunes rather than the music that I loved. I decided that it was not worth it." She returned to San Francisco and worked in the business world, forming Quayle & Company Awnings & Marine Canvas. Although she recorded a religious album, Comfort My People, while accompanied by the Jerry Hahn Trio in 1994, and a second set that featured her words and music in 2004, It's Glorious To Be Loved By You, she otherwise rarely sang.

All of that changed in 2006 when, at the urging of friends, she returned to music. Marky took a master class from Wesla Whitfield who gave her important advice and encouragement. Soon she recorded a CD of vintage standards that she dedicated to her Mom, Songs My Mother Loves, performing duets with pianist Ken Muir. Since then, she has recorded a third religious album, Hymns: All About Him!, and further explorations of vintage tunes which you can hear on One December Day and So Lucky To Be Loved By You. "In any song, I connect first to the lyrics and then to the melody; the lyrics draw me to the tune." 

On One December Day, Marky teams up with Trio de Swing (pianist Dave Austin, bassist Chuck Bennett , drummer Bob Blankenship) for 16 superior standards. Among the songs are such gems as "Then I'll Be Tired Of You," a medium-tempo "What A Difference A Day Made," "My Buddy," "The Very Thought Of You," and "Learnin' The Blues." Her good taste in picking out superb songs matches her sensitivity in interpreting the timeless lyrics.