Listen to Merry Clayton's incredible background vocals for "Gimme Shelter"

In this video, gospel singer Merry Clayton and Mick Jagger recount the evening in 1969 when the two recorded the vocals for "Gimme Shelter." Clayton said she was in bed, pregnant, and her hair in rollers when she got a call to come to the studio.

"It was very late at night," says Clayton. "And I was very pregnant. Had curlers and the whole thing in my hair, getting ready to go to bed. And we get a call: 'Merry, there's a group of guys in town called the Rolling… Rolling… somebodies and they're from England, and they need somebody that will sing with them. They picked me up with silk pajamas on, a mink coat and a Chanel scarf on my head."

At the 2:13 mark, you can hear her isolated vocals.

Here's the full song as it appeared on Let It Bleed:

Thumbnail image: Magi Bagi/