Delbert McClinton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Delbert McClinton
Born (1940-11-04) November 4, 1940 (age 75)
Lubbock, Texas, U.S.
Origin Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
Genres Americana, blues rock,[1] electric blues,[1] roots rock, country
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica
Years active 1962–present
Labels LeCam, Soft, Bobill, Brownfield, Smash, Clean, Paramount, ABC, Mercury, Capitol, MCA, Alligator, Curb, Intermedia, Polygram, 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 sideman since 1962 and as a band leader since 1972, he has recorded albums for several major record labels and singles that have reached the Billboard Hot 100, Mainstream Rock Tracks, and Hot Country Songs charts. His highest-charting single was "Tell Me About It", a 1992 duet with Tanya Tucker, which reached number 4 on the Country chart. Four of his albums have been number 1 on the U.S. Blues chart, and another reached number 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]

McClinton was born in Lubbock, Texas, and relocated with his family to Fort Worth, Texas, when he was 11 years old.[2] He worked in a bar band, the Straitjackets, who played backing 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 tour with Channel in the United Kingdom, McClinton instructed John Lennon on the finer points of blues harmonica playing.[4]

McClinton formed the Ron-Dels, sometimes called Rondells, with Ronnie Kelly and Billy Wade Sanders.[5][6][7] The band had a chart single in 1965 with "If You Really Want Me to I'll Go."[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]


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 number 1 hit in 1978 with her recording of McClinton's composition "Two More Bottles of Wine," and his "B Movie Boxcar Blues" was covered on the first album by the Blues Brothers, 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 album Live From Austin, recorded during an appearance on the television program Austin City Limits and co-produced by saxophonist Don Wise.[2]

In 1991 he won a Grammy Award for his duet with Bonnie Raitt, "Good Man, Good Woman", and reached the Top 5 of the Country chart with "Tell Me About It", a duet with Tanya Tucker.[2] He reentered the Billboard charts in 1992 with the album Never Been Rocked Enough, which included the charting "Every Time I Roll the Dice" and a cover of John Hiatt's "Have a Little Faith in Me."

McClinton recorded the opening title song, "Weatherman", for the 1992 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]


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

Etta James included two McClinton songs on her album of 2003, Let's Roll (album)

McClinton was a judge for the fourth annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.[17]

He is featured of the documentary Rocking the Boat: A Musical Conversation and Journey, by the filmmaker Jay Curlee.

He performs on the recently released (Sept 30 2016) "Frankie Miller" album "Double Take" and is merged with Frankie's voice in a track called "Beginner at the blues" The songs on this album were recorded as Demo's by Frankie Miller prior to his brain haemorrhage in New York in 1994. It is amazing how these Demo's have been rescued and lovingly Duetted with some big names such as Delbert McClinton, Rod Stewart, Elton John and Steve Cropper, Willie Nelson, Huey Lewis, Kid Rock, Kim Carnes, Joe Walsh, Bonnie Tyler, Lenny Zabatek, Paul Carrack, Francis Rossi, John Parr, Brian Cadd, Stuart Emerson, Tomoyasu Hotei, Steve Dickinson, Kiki Dee and Jose Antonio Rodriguez, and Frankie's old band Full House.


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album[18] Chart Positions[19] 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 34 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 Volume 1 LeCam
Very Early Delbert McClinton Volume 2 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[21] US Country US MSR CAN CAN Country
1965 "If You Really Want Me To, I'll Go" (The Ron-Dels) 97 Very Early Delbert McClinton Volume 1
1972 "I Received a Letter" (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. 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. ^ "The house band at the Tracer was the Ron-Dels, a white-boy blues, rock, and country band led by a soulful singer named Delbert McClinton and his buddies Ronnie Kelly and Billy Wade Sanders." Patoski, Joe Nick (2008). Willie Nelson: An Epic Life. Little, Brown. pp. 85–86. ISBN 0316017787.
  6. ^ "Another young Lubbock group, Delbert McClinton and the Ron-Dels, recorded 'If You Really Want Me To I'll Go'. McClinton ... had cut his musical teeth on the Jacksboro Highway blues scene of Fort Worth". Jasinski, Laurie E., ed. (2012). Handbook of Texas Music (2nd ed.). Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 0876112971.
  7. ^ "McClinton' s sides, of the same vintage, display his capable voice leading the Ron-Dels and the Straightjackets, two prominent Fort Worth white punk groups of the day." Texas Monthly, April 1979, p. 183.
  8. ^ "Upon returning to the U.S., McClinton founded a group called the Rondells (sometimes listed as the Ron-Dels), which had a minor chart single in 1965 with 'If You Really Want Me to I'll Go'". Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2003). All Music Guide to Country. p. 480. ISBN 0879307609.
  9. ^ "The band was called the Ron-dels then. They had a record out, 'If You Really Want Me To, I'll Go,' and it was moving up the charts. So I took a stab at it and went back to Fort Worth. Mike Clark was playing drums with them. He was leaving ..." Payne, Jim (2010). The Great Drummers of R and B Funk and Soul. p. 200.
  10. ^ "In the mid-1960s he had a group called the Ron Dels that produced one minor single, and later in the decade he worked the Texas bar circuit. In the early 1970s he recorded two albums with Glen Clark, and went on to secure a solo contract". Komara, Edward; Lee, Peter (2004). The Blues Encyclopedia. p. 666.
  11. ^ "Later McClinton fronted a popular Fort Worth band called the Ron-Dels. But all that was just a prelude. He had finally reached the age of being legal in a Texas bar when he played the harmonica solo on Bruce Channel's 'Hey! Baby'". Reid, Jan (2010). The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock (new ed.). p. 298. ISBN 0292787766, 97801292787766.
  12. ^ "While on tour with Channel in the United Kingdom, McClinton shared his stylings with John Lennon, and his influence can be heard clearly on the Beatles' 'Love Me Do.' In 1964 and 1965 McClinton teamed with Ronnie Kelly as the Ron-Dels." Kingsbury, Paul, ed. (1998). The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Oxford University Press. ISBN 019984044X.
  13. ^ "The results can be heard on the Fab Four's "Love Me Do." After having regional hits in the 1960s with the Ron-Dels and with Delbert and Glen, McClinton began a solo career in the early 1970s. At first he was marketed as a country artist...". Busby, Mark, ed. (2004). The Southwest. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. p. 324. ISBN 0313328056.
  14. ^ "'So the next band I had was called The Rondells. and we were kind of a big deal around here [in Fort Worth] , and then that finally came apart. I stayed around and had any number of bands. Every week I'd call it something else.'" Govenar, Alan B. (2008). Texas Blues: The Rise of a Contemporary Sound. Texas A&M University Press. p. 203. ISBN 158544605X.
  15. ^ "...the Rondells, a group from Yoakum." Texas Monthly, June 1976, p. 124.
  16. ^ "Delbert McClinton, a singer, harmonica player and guitarist who recorded with the Straight Jackets (a rousing version of Billy Emerson's 'Every Woman I Know Is Crazy About Automobiles') and the Rondells ('If You Really Want Me To, I'll Go')". Gillett, Charlie (2011). The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock & Roll. Souvenir Press. p. ix. ISBN 0285640240.
  17. ^ Independent Music Awards – Past Judges Archived July 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ Delbert McClinton discography at
  19. ^ Delbert McClinton - Billboard Charts - Allmusic
  20. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research. p. 584. ISBN 0-89820-188-8. 
  21. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]