Delbert McClinton: Still One of the Fortunate Few

As if Delbert McClinton’s voice wasn’t enough, embued with the grit and soul of a hundred Texas honky-tonks, his bank of memories from the past 60 years would comprise a book you’d want to read. As a matter of fact, you can read that book. Just out is “Delbert McClinton: One of the Fortunate Few” by Diana Finlay Hendricks (Texas A&M University Press), a lively biography of McClinton based in part on his own diaries, with details of his adventures growing up in Lubbock and then Fort Worth, Texas, soaking up country swing and jazz, and backing up blues legends such as Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters and Big Joe Turner on the wild and woolly Fort Worth nightclub scene. Casual fans who know McClinton mostly from his 1991 duet with Bonnie Raitt, “Good Man, Good Woman,” and even some who have been fans since the ’70s might be surprised to know he was once on the bill over the Beatles in England, (when he toured with Bruce Channel playing harmonica on “Hey Baby”), gave John Lennon harmonica tips; played some of Jack Ruby’s nightclubs and saw President John F. Kennedy on the day he was assassinated. This was all before McClinton made a name for himself while at ground zero for the explosion of Austin music in the 1970s. McClinton, 77, who performs at The Ark in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, seemed to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time, in American popular culture…. [Read full story]

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