Tommy McLain

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Tommy McLain
Tommy McLain.png
Tommy McLain in 1966
Background information
Born (1940-03-15) March 15, 1940 (age 78)
Jonesville, Louisiana
Origin United States
Genres Swamp pop
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Vocals, keyboards, drum, bass guitar, fiddle

Tommy McLain (born 15 March 1940, in Jonesville, Louisiana)[1] is an American swamp pop musician, best known as a singer but who also plays keyboards, drums, bass guitar, and fiddle.


McLain first began performing in the 1950s, along with country singer Clint West. The two were both members of The Vel-Tones in the late 1950s and The Boogie Kings in the 1960s, and they recorded a duet, "Try to Find Another Man", in 1965. He also performed on Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars in the 1960s and DJed at Louisiana radio station, KREH. McLain's greatest fame was with his recording of the song "Sweet Dreams", which hit #15 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1966.[2] It reached #49 in the UK Singles Chart the same year.[3]

He also wrote Freddy Fender's hit single, "If You Don't Love Me Alone (Leave Me Alone)". McLain appears along with the Mule Train Band in the Paul Newman film, The Drowning Pool.[1] McLain continues to perform in the American Deep south with his backing group the Mule Train Band.[1]

In October 2007, McLain was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.[4]

McLain was more recently featured as a guest artist on an album recorded by Larry Lange and his Lonely Knights of Austin, TX, entitled "Wiggle Room"(2011), which debuts two brand new songs penned by McLain; perhaps the most notable one being, "Don't Make Me Leave New Orleans", a heart-felt ballad that McLain wrote in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.[5] Plans are in the works for McLain to rejoin Larry Lange to record a full-length album with the Lonely Knights.

The award-winning British artist Lily Allen included Tommy McLain's cover of Fats Domino's song "Before I Grow Too Old" as one of her eight favorite songs on the popular British radio programme Desert Island Discs on 29 June 2014.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c IMDb database
  2. ^ Billboard Singles,
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 340. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ Louisiana Music Hall of Fame
  5. ^ Hurricane Katrina