A long time before today’s stars made genre-crossing a common practice, singer/songwriter Marion Worth made her mark as both a pop singer and a country music performer. Mostly remembered now for “Shake Me I Rattle (Squeeze Me I Cry),” for a period that began in the late 1950s and continued for more than a decade she was one of the most popular performers around, singing the kind of music that appealed to fans in both camps.
While growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, young Mary Ann Ward studied piano and guitar, and by the time she began performing on local radio and TV she had added singing to her act. She eventually snagged a recording contract and took the stage name Marion Worth. She was also writing music by then, and it was one of her own — a song with the interesting title of “Are You Willing, Willie” — that would become her first success on the charts, nearly reaching Top Ten territory.
As the 1960s began she did crack the Top Ten with the song that would be her biggest seller, “That’s My Kind of Love,” and over the next few years continued to sell a lot of records with tunes like “There’ll Always Be Sadness” and “Same Old Tears.” She also issued “Shake Me I Rattle (Squeeze Me I Cry),” which initially didn’t chart as highly as others but because of its holiday popularity became her most memorable record for many fans.
Although Marion Worth never reached super-stardom she continued to be very popular for a number of years, selling a lot of records and appearing everywhere from the Grand Ole Opry to Carnegie Hall. In the later years of her career she remained popular with fans, and stayed active until her death at age 69 in 1999.