Sammy Strain

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Sammy Strain
Birth nameSamuel Strain Jr.
Also known asSam Strain
Born (1939-12-09) December 9, 1939 (age 83)
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
Instrument(s)Vocals (tenor)
Years active1956–2005

Samuel Strain Jr. (born December 9, 1939)note is an American R&B vocalist, known for his time as a member of Little Anthony and the Imperials (1958–1972; 1992–2005) and The O'Jays (1975–1992).[1]

He holds the unusual distinction of being twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: in 2005 with the O'Jays and in 2009 with Little Anthony and the Imperials.

Early life[edit]

Strain was born to Sammy Strain Sr. and Margaret Mosley in Brooklyn in 1939. He visited the Apollo Theater as a teenager, and dropped out of Alexander Hamilton High School, Brooklyn age 16.[2]


Strain formed The Chips with several friends in 1956. He sang with a tenor voice.[3]

In 1958, Strain joined The Imperials; they later reunited with their lead singer and reformed Little Anthony and the Imperials.

From 1975 to 1992, Strain was part of The O'Jays replacing original member William Powell as he was diagnosed with colon cancer, he rejoined the Imperials, and sang with them until retiring in 2005.

Strain was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: in 2005 with the O'Jays and in 2009 with Little Anthony and the Imperials.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Strain married the singer Yvonne Fair. He is currently married to DeBorah and has two sons.[5]


1.^ Some sources give Strain's year of birth as 1940 or 1941.[6][7][8] However, he celebrated his 80th birthday in 2019 and most sources give 1939 as the year of birth, including the detailed biography in Echoes Of The Past magazine.[9][10][11]


  1. ^ "The Sammy Strain Story" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Sammy Strain". SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews. September 14, 2016.
  3. ^ An A-Z of Rock and Roll - new and updated edition. An A-Z of Rock and Roll. ISBN 9781105325038 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "INTERVIEW: Sammy Strain, R&B star, remembers those 'Streetlight Harmonies'". Hollywood Soapbox. April 1, 2020.
  5. ^[bare URL PDF]
  6. ^ "WBSS Media-Sam Strain".
  7. ^ Larkin, Colin (May 27, 2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Omnibus Press. ISBN 9780857125958 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ Helander, Brock (November 1, 1996). The Rock Who's who. Schirmer Books. ISBN 9780028710310 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ "Feature Friday: An Unsung Hero ... Sammy Strain".
  10. ^ "80th Birthday Surprise Party for Sammy Strain". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-05.
  11. ^[bare URL PDF]

External links[edit]