Delbert McClinton

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Delbert McClinton
Born (1940-11-04) November 4, 1940 (age 73)
Lubbock, Texas, United States
Origin Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Genres Americana, blues rock,[1] electric blues,[1] roots rock, country
Occupations Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica
Years active 1972–present
Labels Clean
Rising Tide
New West
Direct Source
Associated acts Tanya Tucker, Bekka Bramlett, Bonnie Raitt, Don Wise

Delbert McClinton (born November 4, 1940)[2] is an American blues rock and electric blues singer-songwriter, guitarist, harmonica player, and pianist.[1]

Active as a side-man since 1962 and as a band leader since 1972, he has recorded several major record label albums, and charted singles on the Billboard Hot 100, Mainstream Rock Tracks, and Hot Country Songs charts. His highest-peaking single was "Tell Me About It", a 1992 duet with Tanya Tucker which reached No. 4 on the Country chart. He has also had four albums that made it to No. 1 on the U.S. Blues chart, and another that reached No. 2.

He was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame,[3] in March 2011, along with Lee Roy Parnell, Bruce Channel, Gary Nicholson, and Cindy Walker.


Early years[edit]

Delbert McClinton was born in Lubbock, Texas, United States, but relocated with his family to Fort Worth, Texas when he was age 11.[2] He worked in a bar band, The Straitjackets, who played backing to Sonny Boy Williamson II, Howlin' Wolf, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Jimmy Reed. McClinton recorded several regional singles before hitting the national chart in 1962, playing harmonica on Bruce Channel's "Hey! Baby."[2] On a subsequent package tour to the United Kingdom, McClinton instructed John Lennon on the finer points of blues harmonica playing.[4]


Relocating to Los Angeles in 1972, McClinton partnered with fellow Texan, Glen Clark, to perform a combination of country and soul music. They achieved a degree of artistic success, releasing two albums before splitting and McClinton embarked on a solo career.[2]

Emmylou Harris had a No. 1 hit in 1978 with McClinton's composition "Two More Bottles of Wine," and his "B Movie Boxcar Blues" was covered on the first The Blues Brothers album, Briefcase Full of Blues.[2]

1980s and 1990s[edit]

McClinton's 1980 album, The Jealous Kind, contained his only Top 40 hit single, "Givin' It Up for Your Love", which peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. After an inactive period during much of the 1980s, McClinton made a return in 1989 with the Grammy nominated Live From Austin album, recorded during an Austin City Limits appearance and co-produced by saxophonist Don Wise.[2]

He won a 1991 Grammy Award for his duet with Bonnie Raitt, "Good Man, Good Woman", and reached the Top 5 of the Country chart with the Tanya Tucker duet, "Tell Me About It."[2] McClinton recorded the opening title song "Weatherman" for the Bill Murray film Groundhog Day. The fledgling label Rising Tide released One of the Fortunate Few in 1997, before the label went out of business.[2]


In addition to releasing two new studio albums in the early 2000s, New West Records issued Delbert McClinton Live in 2003, a compilation album of songs from throughout his career. In 2006, McClinton won a Grammy Award for his album The Cost of Living in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category.[2]

McClinton was a judge for the fourth annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.[5]

McClinton is the feature of the musical documentary, Rocking the Boat: A Musical Conversation and Journey, by the film maker Jay Curlee. In December 2011, McClinton is still active and appeared on the Fox Business Network Channel.


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Chart Positions Label
US Blues US Country US US Indie
1972 Delbert & Glen Clean
1973 Subject to Change
1975 Victim of Life's Circumstances ABC
1976 Genuine Cowhide
1977 Love Rustler 49
1978 Second Wind Mercury
1979 Keeper of the Flame 146
1980 The Jealous Kind Capitol
1981 Plain from the Heart 181
1987 Honky Tonkin' MCA
1989 Honky Tonkin' Alligator
Live from Austin
1990 I'm with You Curb
1992 Never Been Rocked Enough 118
1993 Feelin' Alright Intermedia
Delbert McClinton Curb
1994 Shot from the Saddle Mercury
Honky Tonk 'n Blues MCA
1995 Let the Good Times Roll
1997 One of the Fortunate Few 2 15 116 Rising Tide
2001 Nothing Personal 1 20 103 3 New West
2002 Room to Breathe 1 12 84 3
2003 Live 44 31
2005 Cost of Living 1 14 105 16
2006 Live from Austin, TX
2007 Rockin' Blues Direct Source
2009 Acquired Taste 1 131 23 New West
2013 Blind, Crippled and Crazy 172

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album Label
1978 Very Early Delbert McClinton Lecam
1989 The Best of Delbert McClinton Curb
1994 Classics, Volume 1 Capitol
Classics, Vol. 2: Plain from the Heart Curb
1995 Great Songs: Come Together
1999 Crazy Cajun Recordings Edsel
The Ultimate Collection Hip-O
2000 Don't Let Go: The Collection Music Club
Genuine Rhythm & the Blues Hip-O
2003 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection:
The Best of Delbert McClinton
2006 The Definitive Collection Hip-O


Year Single Chart Positions Album
US AC[7] US Country US MSR CAN CAN Country
1972 "I Received a Letter" (credited to Delbert & Glen) 90 Delbert & Glen
1980 "Giving It Up for Your Love" 8 35 10 The Jealous Kind
1981 "Shotgun Rider" 70 Plain from the Heart
"Sandy Beaches" 101
1990 "I'm with You" I'm with You
1992 "Every Time I Roll the Dice" 13 40 Never Been Rocked Enough
1995 "Come Together" Come Together: America Salutes the Beatles
1997 "Sending Me Angels" 65 92 One of the Fortunate Few
2001 "When Rita Leaves" Nothing Personal
2002 "Same Kind of Crazy" Room to Breathe
"Lone Star Blues"
2005 "One of the Fortunate Few" Cost of Living
"I Had a Real Good Time"
2006 "Midnight Communion"
2009 "Mama's Little Baby" Acquired Taste
"Starting a Rumor"

Guest singles[edit]

Year Single Artist Chart Positions Album
US Country CAN Country
1993 "Tell Me About It" Tanya Tucker 4 3 Can't Run from Yourself


  1. ^ a b c Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 1-904041-96-5. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Biography by Steve Huey". Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Independent Music Awards – Past Judges
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 584. ISBN 0-89820-188-8. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]