Delbert McClinton

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Delbert McClinton
Born(1940-11-04) November 4, 1940 (age 74)
Lubbock, Texas, United States
OriginFort Worth, Texas, United States
GenresAmericana, blues rock,[1] electric blues,[1] roots rock, country
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, piano, harmonica
Years active1972–present
Rising Tide
New West
Direct Source
Associated actsTanya Tucker, Bekka Bramlett, Bonnie Raitt, Don Wise
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Delbert McClinton
Born(1940-11-04) November 4, 1940 (age 74)
Lubbock, Texas, United States
OriginFort Worth, Texas, United States
GenresAmericana, blues rock,[1] electric blues,[1] roots rock, country
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, piano, harmonica
Years active1972–present
Rising Tide
New West
Direct Source
Associated actsTanya Tucker, Bekka Bramlett, Bonnie Raitt, Don Wise

Delbert McClinton (born November 4, 1940)[2] is an American blues rock and electric blues singer-songwriter, guitarist, harmonica player, and pianist.[1]

Active as a side-man since 1962 and as a band leader since 1972, he has recorded several major record label albums, and charted singles on the Billboard Hot 100, Mainstream Rock Tracks, and Hot Country Songs charts. His highest-peaking single was "Tell Me About It", a 1992 duet with Tanya Tucker which reached No. 4 on the Country chart. He has also had four albums that made it to No. 1 on the U.S. Blues chart, and another that reached No. 2.

He was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame,[3] in March 2011, along with Lee Roy Parnell, Bruce Channel, Gary Nicholson, and Cindy Walker.


Early years[edit]

Delbert McClinton was born in Lubbock, Texas, United States, but relocated with his family to Fort Worth, Texas when he was age 11.[2] He worked in a bar band, The Straitjackets, who played backing to Sonny Boy Williamson II, Howlin' Wolf, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Jimmy Reed. McClinton recorded several regional singles before hitting the national chart in 1962, playing harmonica on Bruce Channel's "Hey! Baby."[2] On a subsequent package tour to the United Kingdom, McClinton instructed John Lennon on the finer points of blues harmonica playing.[4]

McClinton formed the Ron-Dels, sometimes called Rondells with Ronnie Kelly and Billy Ray Sanders.[5][6][7]

The band had a chart single in 1965 with "If You Really Want Me to I'll Go."[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]


Relocating to Los Angeles in 1972, McClinton partnered with fellow Texan, Glen Clark, to perform a combination of country and soul music. They achieved a degree of artistic success, releasing two albums before splitting and McClinton embarked on a solo career.[2]

Emmylou Harris had a No. 1 hit in 1978 with McClinton's composition "Two More Bottles of Wine," and his "B Movie Boxcar Blues" was covered on the first The Blues Brothers album, Briefcase Full of Blues.[2]

1980s and 1990s[edit]

McClinton's 1980 album, The Jealous Kind, contained his only Top 40 hit single, "Givin' It Up for Your Love", which peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. After an inactive period during much of the 1980s, McClinton made a return in 1989 with the Grammy nominated Live From Austin album, recorded during an Austin City Limits appearance and co-produced by saxophonist Don Wise.[2]

He won a 1991 Grammy Award for his duet with Bonnie Raitt, "Good Man, Good Woman", and reached the Top 5 of the Country chart with the Tanya Tucker duet, "Tell Me About It."[2] McClinton recorded the opening title song "Weatherman" for the Bill Murray film Groundhog Day. The fledgling label Rising Tide released One of the Fortunate Few in 1997, before the label went out of business.[2]


In addition to releasing two new studio albums in the early 2000s, New West Records issued Delbert McClinton Live in 2003, a compilation album of songs from throughout his career. In 2006, McClinton won a Grammy Award for his album The Cost of Living in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category.[2]

McClinton was a judge for the fourth annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.[19]

McClinton is the feature of the musical documentary, Rocking the Boat: A Musical Conversation and Journey, by the film maker Jay Curlee. In December 2011, McClinton is still active and appeared on the Fox Business Network Channel.


Studio albums[edit]

YearAlbumChart PositionsLabel
US BluesUS CountryUSUS Indie
1972Delbert & GlenClean
1973Subject to Change
1975Victim of Life's CircumstancesABC
1976Genuine Cowhide
1977Love Rustler49
1978Second WindMercury
1979Keeper of the Flame146
1980The Jealous KindCapitol
1981Plain from the Heart181
1987Honky Tonkin'MCA
1989Honky Tonkin'Alligator
Live from Austin
1990I'm with YouCurb
1992Never Been Rocked Enough118
1993Feelin' AlrightIntermedia
Delbert McClintonCurb
1994Shot from the SaddleMercury
Honky Tonk 'n BluesMCA
1995Let the Good Times Roll
1997One of the Fortunate Few215116Rising Tide
2001Nothing Personal1201033New West
2002Room to Breathe112843
2005Cost of Living11410516
2006Live from Austin, TX
2007Rockin' BluesDirect Source
2009Acquired Taste113123New West
2013Blind, Crippled and Crazy172

Compilation albums[edit]

1978Very Early Delbert McClintonLecam
1989The Best of Delbert McClintonCurb
1994Classics, Volume 1Capitol
Classics, Vol. 2: Plain from the HeartCurb
1995Great Songs: Come Together
1999Crazy Cajun RecordingsEdsel
The Ultimate CollectionHip-O
2000Don't Let Go: The CollectionMusic Club
Genuine Rhythm & the BluesHip-O
200320th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection:
The Best of Delbert McClinton
2006The Definitive CollectionHip-O


YearSingleChart PositionsAlbum
US AC[21]US CountryUS MSRCANCAN Country
1972"I Received a Letter" (credited to Delbert & Glen)90Delbert & Glen
1980"Giving It Up for Your Love"83510The Jealous Kind
1981"Shotgun Rider"70Plain from the Heart
"Sandy Beaches"101
1990"I'm with You"I'm with You
1992"Every Time I Roll the Dice"1340Never Been Rocked Enough
1995"Come Together"Come Together: America Salutes the Beatles
1997"Sending Me Angels"6592One of the Fortunate Few
2001"When Rita Leaves"Nothing Personal
2002"Same Kind of Crazy"Room to Breathe
"Lone Star Blues"
2005"One of the Fortunate Few"Cost of Living
"I Had a Real Good Time"
2006"Midnight Communion"
2009"Mama's Little Baby"Acquired Taste
"Starting a Rumor"

Guest singles[edit]

YearSingleArtistChart PositionsAlbum
US CountryCAN Country
1993"Tell Me About It"Tanya Tucker43Can't Run from Yourself


  1. ^ a b c Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 1-904041-96-5. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Biography by Steve Huey". Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Willie Nelson: An Epic Life 0316031984 Joe Nick Patoski - 2008 The house band at the Tracer was the Ron-Dels, a white-boy blues, rock, and country band led by a soulful singer named Delbert McClinton and his buddies Ronnie Kelly and Billy Ray Sanders. Willie picked up day jobs wherever he could.
  6. ^ Handbook of Texas Music 0876112971 Laurie E. Jasinski - 2012 Another young Lubbock group, Delbert McClinton and the Ron-Dels, recorded “If You Really Want Me To I'll Go.” McClinton, who had cut his musical teeth on the Jacksboro Highway blues scene of Fort Worth, had established himself as a ...
  7. ^ Texas Monthly - apr. 1979 - Page 183 McClinton' s sides, of the same vintage, display his capable voice leading the Ron-Dels and the Straight- jackets, two prominent Fort Worth white punk groups of the day. If you can ignore the primitive quality of both local recordings and if you ...
  8. ^ All Music Guide to Country: 0879307609 Page 480 Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, Stephen Thomas Erlewine - 2003 Upon returning to the U.S., McClinton founded a group called the Rondells (sometimes listed as the Ron-Dels), which had a minor chart single in 1965 with "If You Really Want Me to. I'll Go." Although the Rondells recorded for several different ...
  9. ^ Jim Payne The Great Drummers of R and B Funk and Soul - 2010 Page 200 The band was called the Ron-dels then. They had a record out, “If You Really Want Me To, I'll Go,” and it was moving up the charts. So I took a stab at it and went back to Fort Worth. Mike Clark was playing drums with them. He was leaving and ..."
  10. ^ Edward Komara, Peter Lee - The Blues Encyclopedia - 2004 Page 666 In the mid-1960s he had a group called the Ron Dels that produced one minor single, and later in the decade he worked the Texas bar circuit. In the early 1970s he recorded two albums with Glen Clark, and went on to secure a solo contract in ...
  11. ^ Jan Reid The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock -2010 Page 298 Later McClinton fronted a popular Fort Worth band called the Ron-Dels. But all that was just a prelude. He had finally reached the age of being legal in a Texas bar when he played the harmonica solo on Bruce Channel's "Hey! Baby."
  12. ^ Paul Kingsbury -The Encyclopedia of Country Music 019984044X 1998 While on tour with Channel in the United Kingdom, McClinton shared his stylings with John Lennon, and his influence can be heard clearly on the Beatles' “Love Me Do.” In 1964 and 1965 McClinton teamed with Ronnie Kelly as the Ron-Dels.
  13. ^ The Southwest - Page 324 0313328056 Mark Busby - 2004 The results can be heard on the Fab Four's "Love Me Do." After having regional hits in the 1960s with the Ron-Dels and with Delbert and Glen, McClinton began a solo career in the early 1970s. At first he was marketed as a country artist, but
  14. ^ Alan B. Govenar Texas Blues: The Rise of a Contemporary Sound - Page 203 158544605X - 2008 - So the next band I had was called The Rondells. and we were kind of a big deal around here [in Fort Worth] , and then that finally came apart. I stayed around and had any number of bands. Every week I'd call it something else.
  15. ^ Texas Monthly - juin 1976 - Page 124 ... to an enormous dance hall. More than 850 guests attended the reception, or more than a fourth of the population of the town (and there were two other large weddings that day). Music was provided by the Rondells, a group from Yoakum.
  16. ^ The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock & Roll - Page ix 0285640240 Charlie Gillett - 2011 "Delbert McClinton, a singer, harmonica player and guitarist who recorded with the Straight Jackets (a rousing version of Billy Emerson's “Every Woman I Know is Crazy About Automobiles”) and the Rondells (“If You Really Want Me To, I'll Go”).
  17. ^ Mystery train: images de l'Amérique à travers le rock'n'roll - Page 238 Greil Marcus - 2001 En dehors des morceaux Sun, "Train Whistle Boogie", écrit par Frank et enregistré par Charles Dean and the Rondells, en 1959, pour le label Benton de Dyersberg, Tennessee, peut être trouvé dans l'anthologie West Tennesse and Arkansas ...
  18. ^ Only the Strong Survive: Memoirs of a Soul Survivor - Page 150 Jerry Butler - 2000 - In addition to me, Bobby Hebb, Jay and the Techniques, and Bill Deal and the Rondells also recorded it. The background singers that Ross used on all of his Mercury hits were Ashford and Simpson and Melba Moore. "
  19. ^ Independent Music Awards – Past Judges
  20. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 584. ISBN 0-89820-188-8. 
  21. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]