The first of the “Conroe Legends” murals was revealed Saturday night in downtown Conroe.
Conroe legend Mary McCoy was chosen as the first honoree. She was so overcome after seeing her picture on the side of the Thomas Kinkade Gallery building, she could barely stand or speak.
“I really didn’t know what to think,” said McCoy who is recovering from neck surgery two weeks ago. “This is my home, I have so much love for everybody here. I was just overwhelmed when I saw that. I was expecting a piece of art.”
Mary McCoy, 2010 Texas Radio Hall of Fame inductee, stands in front of the new mural of herself on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, on the side of the Thomas Kinkade building in downtown Conroe.
“We were thinking about those who had put Conroe on the map, so to speak and received recognition,” said Annette Spikes, president of the Conroe Arts Alliance. “Mary has been here 60 years and she came to mind first. So we said we need to start with Mary McCoy and then we’ll go from there.”
“To me, she really deserved this,” said Kim Stout, McCoy’s daughter. “She’s been in radio since she was 10-years-old. The old KMCO building, that’s how I got my name. She named me after the the letters, because everyone used to say ‘Kim-Co.”
The plan is to have three more murals of Conroe Legends on the side of the building and donations will be used to purchase the murals and frames.
“The group that did this doesn’t want recognition, we just want to recognize those who are very deserving, and Mary certainly is,” Spikes said.
McCoy began her career on KMCO in 1951 in Conroe with a 15-minute show where she sang and played the guitar.
She thought her show was so bad when she heard it on air, then she received a call to return to the studio because her show had received a sponsor.
“As a little girl, I wanted to sing, have my own radio show and sing and play records and God has blessed me,” McCoy said about being inducted in the 2010 Texas Radio Hall of Fame in a previous Courier article. “God has blessed me in so many ways and this is just like the icing on the cake.”
Each mural costs about $3,100 and funds have already been received for the next Conroe Legend’s mural, which may be revealed before the end of the year, according to Artist Theresa G. Thornhill of Digital Accents.
“If anyone wants to donate, they can contact the Greater Conroe Arts Alliance,” Thornhill said.
McCoy appeared in 1955 on the Louisiana Hayride, sharing the stage with Elvis Presley, Jim Reeves, The Browns and other stars, according to her biography onwww.kvst.com. She released her first record, “Deep Elem Blues,” in 1960 and signed with the Jin label.
She signed a contract in 1967 with Gabe Tucker and recorded many singles and duets with Jimmy Copeland, according to her biography onwww.kvst.com. She also released a gospel CD, "Through the Storm.”