Influenced at a young age by classic country, Tejano, western swing, and the popular music of wartime America, blues musician Delbert McClinton grew up with a backstage pass to some of the most significant moments in American cultural and music history. From his birth on the high plains of West Texas during World War II to headlining sold-out cruises on chartered luxury ships well into his seventies, McClinton admits he has been “One of the Fortunate Few.”
This book chronicles McClinton’s path through a free-range childhood in Lubbock and Fort Worth; an early career in the desegregated roadhouses along Fort Worth’s Jacksboro Highway, where he led the house bands for Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, and others while making a name for himself as a regional player in the birth of rock and roll; headlining shows in England with a little-known Liverpool quartet called The Beatles; and heading back to Texas in time for the progressive movement, kicking off Austin’s burgeoning role in American music history.
Today, more than sixty years after he first stepped onto a stage, Delbert McClinton shows no signs of slowing down. He continues to play sold-out concert and dance halls, theaters, and festival events across the nation. An annual highlight for his fans is the Delbert McClinton Sandy Beaches Cruise, the longest-running music-themed luxury cruise in history at more than twenty-five years of operation. More than the story of a rags-to-riches musician, Delbert McClinton: One of the Fortunate Few offers readers a soundtrack to some of the most pivotal moments in the history of American popular music—all backed by a cooking rhythm section and featuring a hot harmonica lead.
Before Etta James, Aretha Franklin, and Tina Turner, there was Ruth Brown, the legendary rhythm and blues singer best known for her hits (Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean, Teardrops from My Eyes, and 5-10-15 Hours. Her powerhouse voice and sassy squeal brought worldwide success to the Atlantic label in the 1950s. But it took a decades-long battle with Atlantic to receive her full royalties, which inspired the creation of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. In Miss Rhythm, the singer shares candid recollections: the early days of R&B; the racism she endured on the road; and her abusive husbands and lovers. In the '80s and '90s, Brown earned a Tony and Grammy Award and a role as Motormouth Maybelle in John Water's cult film Hairspray. Miss Rhythm is a story of trial and triumph, and of chart-topping success despite seemingly impossible odds.
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