Jimmy Clanton

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Jimmy Clanton
Jimmy Clanton in 1965
Clanton in 1965
Background information
Born (1938-09-02) September 2, 1938 (age 76)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
Genres Rhythm and blues, swamp pop
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1950s–present
Labels Ace
Website www.jimmyclanton.com
Notable instruments
guitar

Jimmy Clanton (born September 2, 1938, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States) is an American singer who became known as the "swamp pop R&B teenage idol".[1] His band recorded a hit song "Just A Dream" which Clanton had written in 1958 for the Ace Records label. It reached number four on the Billboard chart and sold a million copies.[2] Clanton performed on Dick Clark's American Bandstand and toured with popular artists like Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and The Platters.[3]

History[edit]

Clanton formed his first band called the Rockets in 1956 while attending Baton Rouge High School.

One of the few white singers to come out of the New Orleans R&B/rock & roll sound, he rode the crest of the popular teen music wave in the 1950s and 1960s. His records charted in the U.S. Top 40 seven times (all released on Ace); his Top 10 records were: the song "Just a Dream," (Pop #4, R&B #1 in August 1958, credited to 'Jimmy Clanton and His Rockets'), "Go Jimmy Go" (peaked at number five in late 1959) and "Venus in Blue Jeans" in September 1962 (written by Howard Greenfield and Jack Keller).[4] In early 1961, Clanton was drafted and spent the next two years in the U.S. Army, continuing to have chart successes with "Don't Look at Me" and "Because I Do." His next major hit, "Venus in Blue Jeans," peaked at number seven in mid-1962.[5] His only hit in the UK Singles Chart was "Another Sleepless Night", which spent one week at number 50 in July 1960.[6]

Clanton starred in a rock and roll movie produced by Alan Freed called Go Johnny Go,[2] and later starred in Teenage Millionaire, with music arranged and produced by Dr. John and arranger/trumpeter Charlie Miller.[7] During the late 1950s and early 1960s Clanton was managed by Cosimo Matassa, the New Orleans recording studio owner and engineer. In May 1960, Ace Records announced in Billboard that Philadelphia had proclaimed the week of May 16 to be "Jimmy Clanton Week."[8]

Clanton became a disc jockey at WHEX in Columbia, Pennsylvania between 1972 and 1976 and performed in an oldies revue also in the 1970s, The Masters of Rock 'n' Roll, with Troy Shondell, Ray Peterson, and Ronnie Dove. He had a religious conversion in the 1980s.[citation needed] In the 1995 Jazz Fest in New Orleans, Clanton performed with Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, and Frankie Ford.

Clanton was inducted into The Museum of the Gulf Coast Hall of Fame, which also has inducted such performers as Tex Ritter, Janis Joplin, ZZ Top and B. J. Thomas.[9]

On April 14, 2007, at a "Legends of Louisiana Celebration & Inductions" concert in Mandeville, Louisiana, Jimmy Clanton was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

Awards[edit]

Clanton's songs "Just a Dream," "A Letter to an Angel," "Ship on a Stormy Sea," and "Venus in Blue Jeans," each sold over one million copies, and were awarded gold discs.[2]

Jimmy Clanton was born on September 2, 1938 per an interview with Norman N. Night at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, when he said the 1940 date (as originally reported) was wrong.

Singles[edit]

Year Title Chart positions Album
US US R&B
1958 "Just a Dream" 4 1 Just a Dream
"A Letter To an Angel" 25
"A Part of Me" 38 28
1959 "My Own True Love" 33 My Best to You
"Go Jimmy Go" 5 19
1960 "Another Sleepless Night"A 22 Jimmy's Blue
"Come Back" 63 My Best to You
"Wait" 91
1961 "What am I Gonna Do" 50
1962 "Venus In Blue Jeans" 7 Venus In Blue Jeans
1963 "Darkest Street In Town" 77
"Red Don't Go with Blue" 115 Singles only
1969 "Curly"B 97
  • AAlso peaked at #50 in UK Pop Charts
  • BAlso peaked at #90 in Canadian RPM Top Tracks

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jimmy Clanton Songs". Retrieved 2006-11-24. 
  2. ^ a b c Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 98–144. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  3. ^ "Jimmy Clanton". Museum of the Gulf Coast. Retrieved 2006-11-24. 
  4. ^ Joel Whitburn. The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. ISBN 0-8230-7690-3
  5. ^ "Jimmy Clanton's Story". 
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 107. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  7. ^ "Jimmy Clanton". IMBD. Retrieved 2006-11-24. 
  8. ^ Billboard, May 23 1960, p.30
  9. ^ "Museum of the Gulf Coast - Music Legends". www.museumofthegulfcoast.org. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 

External links[edit]