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Delbert Ross McClinton Edit Profile

musician , songwriter

Delbert Ross McClinton, American singer, songwriter. Named one of Twenty Best Rock and Roll Harmonica Players Rolling Stone magazine, 1985. Member Broadcast Music, Inc.


McClinton, Delbert Ross was born on November 4, 1940 in Lubbock, Texas, United States. Son of Herman Louis and Vivian Fanny (Dyer) McClinton.


Graduated from the high school, Fort Worth.


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, in March 2011, along with Lee Roy Parnell, Bruce Channel, Gary Nicholson, and Cindy Walker.

Early years 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." On a subsequent package tour to the United Kingdom, McClinton instructed John Lennon on the finer points of blues harmonica playing. McClinton formed the Ron-Dels, sometimes called Rondells with Ronnie Kelly and Billy Ray Sanders.

The band had a chart single in 1965 with "If You Really Want Me to I'll Go." 1970s Relocating to Los Angeles in 1972, McClinton partnered with fellow Texan, Glen Clark, to perform a combination of country and soul music. 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.

1980s and 1990s 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. McClinton recorded the opening title song "Weatherman" for the 1992 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. 2000–present 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. McClinton was a judge for the fourth annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.

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.


  • They achieved a degree of artistic success, releasing two albums before splitting and McClinton embarked on a solo career. His comeback continued in 1991 when he won a 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." McClinton reentered the Billboard charts in 1992 with his "Never Been Rocked Enough" release, which included the charting "Every Time I Roll the Dice" and a cover of John Hiatt's "Have a Little Faith in Me." In 2006, McClinton won a Grammy Award for his album The Cost of Living in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category.


  • Other Work

    • Contributor harmonica parts to Hey! Baby by Bruce Channel, 1962. Recording artist with The Straightjackets, The Rondels, (albums by Delbert McClinton) Victim of Life's Circumstances, 1975, Genuine Cowhide, 1976, Love Rustler, 1977, Second Wind, 1978, Keeper of the Flame, 1979, The Jealous Kind, 1980, Plain from the Heart, 1981, Live from Austin, 1989, I'm With You, 1990, Best of Delbert McClinton, 1991, Never Been Rocked Enough, 1992. Composer I Want to Love You, Two More Bottles of Wine, B Movie, Giving It Up for Love, 1980 (#7 Billboard Hit 1980).


Member Broadcast Music, Inc.


Married Wendy Beth Goldstein. Children: Monty, Clay, Delaney.

Herman Louis McClinton

Vivian Fanny (Dyer) McClinton

Wendy Beth Goldstein

Monty McClinton

Clay McClinton

Delaney McClinton