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  • Born

    4 November 1940 (age 83)

  • Born In

    Lubbock, Lubbock County, Texas, United States

Delbert McClinton is a blues musician born 4 November 1940, in Lubbock, Texas. He honed his craft working in a bar band, The Straitjackets, backing visiting blues giants such as Sonny Boy Williamson II, Howlin' Wolf, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Jimmy Reed. He made his first recordings as a member of the Ron-Dels and was noted for his distinctive harmonica work on Bruce Channel's 1962 hit "Hey Baby". On a tour of the UK with Channel, McClinton met a young John Lennon and advised him on his harmonica technique, resulting in the sound heard on the Beatles hit "Love Me Do".

Relocating to Los Angeles in the early 1970s, McClinton emerged in a partnership with fellow Texan Glen Clark, performing a combination of country and soul music. They achieved a degree of artistic success, releasing two albums before splitting, with McClinton embarking on a solo career. Emmylou Harris had a number 1 hit in 1978 with his composition "Two More Bottles of Wine", and McClinton's "B Movie Boxcar Blues" was covered on the first album of The Blues Brothers, Briefcase full of blues. His 1980 album, The Jealous Kind contained his only Top 40 hit single "Givin' It Up for Your Love".

After a rest period during much of the '80s, McClinton made a welcome return in 1989 with the fiery album Live From Austin, taped during an Austin City Limits appearance. He won a 1991 Grammy for his duet with Bonnie Raitt, "Good Man, Good Woman", and reached the Top 5 of the country charts with the Tanya Tucker duet, "Tell Me About It". He recorded the opening title song "Weatherman" for the Bill Murray film Groundhog Day. The fledgling label Rising Tide offered One of the Fortunate Few in 1997, but the label quickly folded. In addition to releasing two new studio albums in the early 2000s, New West Records issued Delbert McClinton Live in 2003, a compilation of songs from throughout his career.

McClinton is the star of the upcoming musical documentary: "Rocking the Boat: A Musical Conversation and Journey" by Hawaii-based film maker Jay Curlee. The feature includes interviews and performances by McClinton, Marcia Ball, Rodney Crowell, Stephen Bruton, Wayne Toups, Jimmy Hall,Paul Thorn, Jeffrey Steele and Teresa James. Sometime author, musician, sheriff and now Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman also stars. The film will be entered in the 2006 Telluride Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, and Hawaii International Film Festival.

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