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Clint Holmes (born 9 May 1946) is a singer-songwriter and Las Vegas entertainer. He was born in Bournemouth, England, the son of an African-American jazz musician and an English opera singer. He was raised in Farnham, New York, a small village southwest of Buffalo, as a child.
Holmes is perhaps best known for his #2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart "Playground In My Mind" in 1973. The nursery rhyme-styled song features Holmes duetting with producer Paul Vance's son Philip (d. 13 December 2009) on the chorus. "Playground In My Mind" was written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss, released in the U.S. in July 1972 but did not reach the Billboard Hot 100 until 24 March 1973, where it stayed for 23 weeks. It was granted gold disc status by the R.I.A.A. on July 3, 1973. The single went one better in Canada, topping the RPM 100 national singles charts there for three consecutive weeks in the same year (June 23 - July 7).
This account is given in the autobiography, Johnny Holliday: From Rock to Jock:
"I also helped break a record at WWDC. It was a tune called 'Playground of My Mind,' written by Paul Vance, whom I had known from my WINS days in the Big Apple. Clint Holmes, an excellent talent just waiting to be discovered, recorded it. Clint had found his local audience at Mr. Day's in Georgetown and various other D.C. nightspots. When Clint's record promoter dropped the single off at WWDC, we just jumped all over it. It became a hit overnight. Clint is the sort of fellow you just automatically like the first time you meet him. He and I played tennis at Candy Cane Park in Silver Spring and shot a ton of hoops together. He's a good athlete. I couldn't be prouder of what Clint has accomplished in his career. After 'Playground' hit, he became Joan Rivers' sideman on her short-lived late night show on Fox, and then he got his own TV gig on WOR-TV in NYC."
Initially a vocal music student at Fredonia State College, Holmes left school for the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He spent his three-year enlistment (1967–1969) with the elite United States Army Chorus, and then remained in the Washington, D.C. area to launch his civilian career, singing in nightclubs up and down the East Coast. Holmes was the announcer for The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers (1986–1988), the initial broadcast offering of the then-new Fox Broadcasting Company.
In 1996, The New York Times Theater Review stated; "The Life and Art Of Clint Holmes" written and performed by Holmes: "Whether you choose to endure two and a half hours of Mr. Holmes acting and singing it out, with the assistance of seven other actors and singers, is up to your tolerance for ego-driven show-biz excursions into the orbit of the vanities. It is also dependent on your predisposition to Mr. Holmes's talents. And it has a lot to do with your need for an assertiveness-training manual in the guise of musical theater...it looks as if Mr. Holmes wrote the book on self-indulgence."
Holmes has been a Las Vegas show attraction since the early 1970s. In 2006, he closed his headlining show at Harrah's Las Vegas Casino, which renamed its main showroom for him. From 1990 to 1995, he hosted Honda Campus All-Star Challenge on the BET network, and, after the event became non-broadcast, continued to host the final matches through 2008. Most of Holmes' Vegas band members also appear in a locally popular R&B/jazz group, Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns.
He performed "Auld Lang Syne" in the Smith Center in Las Vegas following the New Year's celebration's firework show on January 1, 2016.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 314. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Holliday, Johnny (2002). Johnny Holliday: From Rock to Jock. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 92. ISBN 158261461X.
- Klein, Alvin (1996-03-03). "THEATER REVIEW - The Life and Art Of Clint Holmes". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2015-08-26.