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Delbert McClinton proudly defies classifications. His music blends his Texas roots with roadhouse rock, juke-joint blues, Memphis soul and country. During his entire recording career, record labels have consistently tried to pigeonhole Delbert's music. But if you ask the critics about Delbert's dynamic vocals and harmonica style, you'll hear descriptions ranging from 'honky-tonk,' 'blue-eyed soul,' and 'Texas stomp' to 'country rock' and 'blues.' Delbert's music rebels against traditional categorization. Ask Delbert what kind of music he plays and he'll say, "Fun music."
McClinton was raised in Fort Worth, Texas, and cut his musical teeth playing in honky tonk bars in the '50s, sometimes jamming in back of a screen to protect him from flying beer bottles. His first taste of national success came in 1962, when he played harmonica on Bruce Chanel's classic song, "Hey! Baby." Soon he was touring and recording. His early days included meeting with a pre-fame John Lennon during a 1962 U.K. tour, during which McClinton showed Lennon a thing or two on the harmonica. A succession of influential and critically acclaimed albums followed, along with coups like appearing on "Saturday Night Live" in its heyday -- an acknowledgement of the pages torn from Delbert's play book by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi when they formed The Blues Brothers. He scored hits like "Giving It Up For Your Love" and "Sandy Beaches," won a Grammy with Bonnie Raitt for their "Good Man/Good Woman" duet, and over the years has enjoyed covers of his songs by Emmylou Harris, The Blues Brothers, Vince Gill, Wynonna, Lee Roy Parnell, Martina McBride, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, among others.