Influenced at a young age by classic country, Tejano, western swing, and the popular music of wartime America, blues musician Delbert McClinton grew up with a backstage pass to some of the most significant moments in American cultural and music history. From his birth on the high plains of West Texas during World War II to headlining sold-out cruises on chartered luxury ships well into his seventies, McClinton admits he has been “One of the Fortunate Few.”
This book chronicles McClinton’s path through a free-range childhood in Lubbock and Fort Worth; an early career in the desegregated roadhouses along Fort Worth’s Jacksboro Highway, where he led the house bands for Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, and others while making a name for himself as a regional player in the birth of rock and roll; headlining shows in England with a little-known Liverpool quartet called The Beatles; and heading back to Texas in time for the progressive movement, kicking off Austin’s burgeoning role in American music history.
Today, more than sixty years after he first stepped onto a stage, Delbert McClinton shows no signs of slowing down. He continues to play sold-out concert and dance halls, theaters, and festival events across the nation. An annual highlight for his fans is the Delbert McClinton Sandy Beaches Cruise, the longest-running music-themed luxury cruise in history at more than twenty-five years of operation. More than the story of a rags-to-riches musician, Delbert McClinton: One of the Fortunate Few offers readers a soundtrack to some of the most pivotal moments in the history of American popular music—all backed by a cooking rhythm section and featuring a hot harmonica lead.