Thomas McClary spent 15 years as the lead guitarist for the Commodores while also participating in songwriting, producing, and lead-vocals. His guitar solo in the Commodores song Easy has been hailed as one of the best solo guitar performances of all time. While with the Commodores, McClary wrote two songs by himself, including Cebu and Sexy Lady and collaborated with Lionel Richie to write many more, including Flying High, Come Inside, High On Sunshine, Girl, I Think the World About You, Midnight Magic, 12:01 A.M., Got To Be Together, Wake Up Children, Funny Feelings, Heaven Knows, Won’t You Come Dance With Me, Visions, Hold On, and Free.
Among the many songs McClary co-wrote with the Commodores as a group are Brick House, Slippery When Wet, I Feel Sanctified, Too Hot ta Trot, Ooo Woman You (with Melissa Manchester, in which he also sang lead vocal), Welcome Home (with Bill Champlin), You Don’t Know That I Know, Let’s Get Started, Time, Captured, Celebrate (with Larry Davis and Harold Hudson), Saturday Night and Keep On Taking Me Higher (with Harold Hudson).
McClary’s musical influence then moved outside of just The Commodores. From the Endless Love soundtrack, he co-wrote (with Lionel Richie) Dreaming of You which was performed by Richie and Diana Ross as well as Kenny Rogers’ Without You In My Life. Another was the track Steam Room off of Jayne Kennedy’s Complete Exercise Program. McClary co-wrote and produced multiple songs for the 1980s pop group Klique’s album Try It Out (one of which was Stop Dogging Me Around which became the #1 song on the Black Contemporary Charts) and Love Circles. McClary also co-wrote and produced four songs for bassist Michael Henderson’s popular Fickel album.
After leaving the Commodores in 1984, McClary signed a solo contract with Motown and the following year released a solo album titled, Thomas McClary, which featured the popular single Thin Walls that climbed to #57 on Billboard. In 1986 McClary returned to Florida and turned to his Christian roots by becoming the music director of his church and forming a gospel music record label under which he released the 2008 album titled A Revolution Not a Revival.