Gary: “Now I have always been a little partial to the Black Blues and R&B Artists of the Fifties and Sixties. Well, there were other singers that had a distinct affect on Record Sales and the Teenage Pop and Rock and Roll Market of the mid to late Fifties. One of these singers was a man from Baton Rouge Louisiana, who was the first Swamp Pop, R&B Teenage Idol. He made movies, sold lots of Records and drove the young girls in the late fifties wild…
Jimmy and Ritchie Valens
Video Don’t you know:
1. Just a Dream (Jimmy Clanton and his Rockets/ Ace 546/ July 1958/ #4 #1 R&B Best Seller #4
2A. A Letter to an Angel/ Ace 551/ November 1958/ #25
2B. A Part of Me/ B Side/ #38
3. My Own True Love/ Ace 567/ August 1959/ #33
4. Go, Jimmy, Go/ Ace 575/ December 1959/ #5
5. Another Sleepless Night/ Ace 585/ May 1960/ #22
6. Venus in Blue Jeans (written by Neil Sedaka)/ Ace 8001/ September 1962/ #7
Jimmy Clanton was born September 2, 1940 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and formed his first band in 1956 while in high school.
One of the few white singers to come out of the New Orleans R&B/rock & roll sound (he was known as the “swamp pop R&B teenage idol”), he rode the crest of the popular teen music wave in the 1950s and ’60s with such songs as ‘Just a Dream’ and ‘Venus in Blue Jeans’. He even continued to release hits after he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1961 and served for two years.
Clanton became a disc jockey in the 1970s and performed in an oldies revue, The Masters of Rock ‘n’ Roll, with Troy Shondell, Ray Peterson, and Ronnie Dove. He is reputed to have had a religious conversion in the 1980s. In the 1995 Jazz Fest in New Orleans, Clanton performed with Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, and Frankie “Sea Cruise” Ford.
Clanton starred in a rock ‘n’ roll movie produced by Alan Freed called “Go Johnny Go,” and later starred in “Teenage Millionaire.”
Clanton was inducted into The Museum of the Gulf Coast Hall of Fame, which also has inducted such performers as Tex Ritter, Janis Joplin, ZZ Top and B. J. Thomas.
On April 14, 2007, at a “Legends of Louisiana Celebration & Inductions” concert in Mandeville, Louisiana, Jimmy Clanton was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
In December 2007, Clanton was voted by fans worldwide as a member of the first class of inductees to the Hit Parade Hall of Fame, joining an elite group that also included (alphabetically) Paul Anka, The Beatles, Tony Bennett, Pat Boone, the Beach Boys, Teresa Brewer, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Chubby Checker, Nat “King” Cole, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Bobby Darin, Neil Diamond, Fats Domino, The Four Seasons, Aretha Franklin, Connie Francis, Brenda Lee, Johnny Mathis, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, Patti Page, Elvis Presley, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Neil Sedaka, and Frank Sinatra.