January 4, 1905|
Durant, Mississippi, United States
|Died||May 9, 1961
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Genres||Delta blues, country blues, blues|
|Associated acts||Robert Petway|
Life and career
McClennan was born in Durant, Mississippi, and grew up in the town. He played and sang blues in a rough, energetic style.
He made a series of recordings for Bluebird Records from 1939 through 1942. He regularly played with his friend Robert Petway. His voice is heard in the background on Petway's recording of "Boogie Woogie Woman" (1942). McClennan's singles in this period included "Bottle It Up and Go", "New Highway No. 51", "Shake 'Em on Down", and "Whiskey Head Woman".
Several of his songs have been covered by other musicians, including "Cross Cut Saw Blues" (covered by Albert King) and "My Baby's Gone" (Moon Mullican). McClennan's "I'm a Guitar King" was included in the 1959 collection The Country Blues, issued by Folkways Records.
John Fahey's "Screaming and Hollerin' the Blues" contains an interview with Booker Miller, a contemporary of Charlie Patton's, in which Miller mentioned someone who is most likely Tommy McClennan, though Miller did not know his name: "... and I saw another fella he put some records out, they (him and Willie Brown) be together, but he be by himself when I see him, they called him "Sugar"... I ain't never known him as nothing but Sugar, he put out a record called Bottle Up and Go... I sold him my guitar."
Bob Dylan covered Tommy McClennan's "Highway 51" on his self-titled debut album in 1962.
- "Tommy McClennan". Msbluestrail.org. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
- Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 1-904041-96-5.
- Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. p. 13. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
- Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. p. 139. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
- O'Neal, Jim (1908-04-08). "Tommy McClennan | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
-  Archived June 23, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.