Jimmy Clanton (born September 2, 1938, Baton Rouge, Louisiana) is an American singer who became known as the "swamp pop R&B teenage idol". His band recorded a hit song "Just A Dream" which Clanton had written in 1958 for the Ace Records label. It reached number four on the Billboard chart and sold a million copies. Clanton performed on Dick Clark's American Bandstand and toured with popular artists like Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and The Platters.
Jimmy Clanton formed his first band, the Dixie Cats, in 1956 while he was attending Baton Rouge High School. While still in high school, he joined forces with rival band leader and pianist Dick Holler to form The Rockets. The band regularly performed at local clubs and on "Teen Town Rally," a local radio show. The group received a recording contract with Ace Records in 1957. In the summer of 1958, Clanton wrote the song "Just A Dream" which the band recorded. It became a big hit, reaching the number four spot on The Billboard Charts. That same year, Clanton performed on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and by Christmas, "Just A Dream" had sold over a million copies.
Riding the wave of popular teen music in the 1950s and 60s, Clanton toured with performers like Fats Domino, The Platters, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Between 1958 and 1962, he had several national hits such as "Go Jimmy Go," "Another Sleepless Night," written by Neil Sedaka and "Venus in Blue Jeans." Clanton even continued to release hits after he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1961 and served for two years. Clanton also starred in the rock n roll movie, "Go Johnny Go," produced by Allan Freed, the noted rock n roll disk jockey. He later starred in another rock n roll movie called "Teenage Millionaire."
Shortly after Clanton's release from the military, the British Invasion of American music took place. With the popularity of such bands as The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, artists such as Clanton began to leave the music business. In 1970 Clanton became a disc jockey at WHEX in Columbia, Pennsylvania between 1972 and 1976 and performed in an "oldies" revue of his own. He had a religious conversion in the 1980s.
In the 1990's Clanton was still performing in popular oldies shows which hearkened audiences back to a simpler time in America. Other noted performances have included the 1995 Jazz Fest in New Orleans where Clanton performed with such greats as Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, and Frankie "Sea Cruise" Ford and a P.O.W. - M.I.A. benefit concert hosted by fellow teen idol Fabian.
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. Also 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.
(Info edited from mainly Wikipedia & Museum Of The Gulf Coast)
Here’s a clip of Jimmy Clanton singing Don't You Know. Taken from the 1959 movie Go Johnny Go.