"You've made me so very happy
I'm so glad you came into my life"
I first heard David Clayton-Thomas in 1968 when he was lead singer for the group Blood, Sweat & Tears. And now, he like many of my other favorites, is skipping towards his golden years. David will be 69 years old on September 13th. I still envision these bands of my youth as the flowing haired singers I grew to love. Am I stuck in the past? I don't think so. I listen to current bands, buy their CDs, and go to their shows. But the singers of my formative years, the ones who inflamed this passion, this obsession of mine, are all aging and I feel a bit panic stricken at the thought of them not walking the planet anymore. So, indulge me if you will, as I walk down the road once more paying homage to the incredible talent that helped form our rock history.
David Clayton-Thomas had a troubled childhood in Canada and left home at the tender age of fourteen. He was in and out of jail and reform school and his life began to turn around when he taught himself to play guitar on a battered instrument left behind by a fellow inmate. He bounced from club to club and band to band as he worked on his craft.
His big break came when he was introduced to drummer Bobby Colomby while in New York. Colomby was struggling to rebuild his band Blood, Sweat & Tears and David’s voice was a perfect fit into their jazz infused rock style. David was the lead singer for Blood, Sweat & Tears from 1968- 1972. Tired from touring and wanting to continue the solo career that had already begun when he joined BS&T, he wanted a break from the group. New front men were brought in over the gap years of his departure to when he returned in late 1974.
And through it all was that voice. That big, soaring powerhouse voice that makes me weep with its tenderness in God Bless the Child and grin with its wickedness in Lucretia MacEvil. I recently had a personal interaction with David Clayton Thomas and was touched by his kindness, generosity, and spirit. It endeared him to me that much more. Enjoy him.
A great interview with David Clayton Thomas
God Bless the Child- for me, the best cover of the Billie Holiday song.
"Little girl what's your game?
Hard luck and trouble
Bound to be your claim to fame
Tail-shakin' home-breakin' truckin' through town
Each and every country-mother's son, hangin' 'round
Drive a young man insane
Evil that's your name..."
Spinning Wheel - Penned by Clayton-Thomas, it rose to #1 on Billboard in August 1969 and was nominated for a Grammy as Song of the Year in 1970.
I Was a Witness to a War
Ride, Captain, Ride- nice job on this cover.
And When I Die - Laura Nyro wrote this song, but it was a hit for BS&T.
And when I die, and when I'm gone,
There'll be one child born
In this world to carry on,
to carry on.