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Clifford Antone (October 27, 1949 – May 22, 2006) was the founder of the eponymous Austin blues club and independent record label, as well as a mentor to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie Vaughan, Gary Clark, Jr. and numerous other musicians. He is the nephew of Jalal Antone, the founder of the Houston, Texas-based Antone's Import Co - known for its po-boy sandwiches.
Born in Port Arthur, Texas, to Greek Orthodox Lebanese American parents who had settled in Eastern Texas, Clifford Antone moved to Austin in 1968 and attended The University of Texas at Austin. An arrest for marijuana led to his dropping out of school. Nurturing a passion for Chicago blues, Antone started a blues club at age 25. The club, Antone's, became one of the first music venues on Austin's 6th Street and helped lead to Austin's reputation as a music city. Clifton Chenier, Fats Domino, John Lee Hooker, Delbert McClinton, Pinetop Perkins, Muddy Waters, Albert Collins, Jimmy Reed, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, B.B. King, Sue Foley, Gary Clark Jr. and many other notable blues musicians have performed at Antone's since 1975.
In 1987, Antone founded a recording label, Antone's Records and Tapes. He also opened Antone's Record Shop, a record store specializing in blues and roots music. Antone served time in federal prisons for drug charges in the early 1980s and in 2000. He lectured on social change and the history of the blues at The University of Texas, Austin Community College, and Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. On hearing of Antone's death, Austin Mayor Will Wynn was quoted as saying, "One of the primary reasons Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World is because of Clifford Antone." He died in Austin, Texas.
- Harward, Randy (May 23, 2006). "Blues Club Owner Clifford Antone Dead at 56". HARP Magazine. Retrieved May 25, 2006.
- L.A. Times staff and wire reporters (May 25, 2006). "Clifford Antone, 56; Austin Blues Club Owner Helped Launch Career of Stevie Ray Vaughan". Los Angeles Times. Obituaries. Retrieved May 30, 2006.[dead link]
- Associated Press staff (May 26, 2006). "Austin Club Owner Clifford Antone, 56". The Washington Post. Associated Press wire. p. B08. Retrieved May 30, 2006.
- Light, Alan (May 25, 2006). "Clifford Antone, 56; Started Texas Blues Club". The New York Times. p. C15. Retrieved May 30, 2006.
- Celedon, Annalisa (June 1, 2006). "Clifford Antone: A Blues Legend Passes". The Daily Texan. Retrieved June 24, 2006.[permanent dead link]