A lifelong performer, Tracey Whitney’s musical roots run deep

Her mother Louise Whitney and father Ellis Ray “Ray Boone” Leary, both incredible singer/performers (and proverbial “big fish in a little pond”) in Portland, Oregon had eight children who all came out singing. When Tracey was 5, her mom packed up the kids and moved to Los Angeles. Shortly after establishing new roots, Louise toured with legends of soul Solomon Burke and Johnny Otis. Aunt Mary Lee Whitney (who became a member of Stevie Wonder’s “Wonderlove,” singing on many of his biggest hits, and was the female lead on his “Songs In The Key Of Life” classic, “As”), Uncle’s Sam Whitney and James Whitney (both singers) and Kenny Roy Whitney (a drummer), also made the trek to California, and became well-known LA-area entertainers.

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With all this music going on around them, it was only natural that the kids would start to mimic the grown-ups, who were always rehearsing. Mom Louise took note of her children’s talent, and together they would go on to become the singing group, “The Whitney Family,” debuting at the famed Coconut Grove in Los Angeles when Tracey was 11 years old. For over 15 years The Whitney Family toured the U.S. and worldwide, played Las Vegas and Tahoe, corded albums for Warner Curb Records (which featured “Let Me Be Your Woman,” a Billboard Magazine Top Singles Pick), and United Artists Records. They made guest appearances on local and national TV shows, including Burt Sugarman’s famed “Midnight Special,” and appeared in several teen magazines, most notably, Right On