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Saturday, 19 March 2016

Clarence "Frogman" Henry born 19 March 1937

Clarence "Frogman" Henry (born March 19, 1937) is an American rhythm and blues singer.
Clarence was born in Algiers, New Orleans, Louisiana in 1937. As a child he studied piano and the trombone, instruments that he

became somewhat accomplished in playing and which he is still playing to this day. Fats Domino and Professor Longhair were young Henry's main influences while growing up. When Henry played in talent shows, he dressed like Longhair and wore a wig with braids on both sides.
Among his fellow high school students was Bobby Mitchell, who had a rhythm and blues group, the Toppers. Clarence joined the group in 1952, playing trombone and piano. Mitchell recorded for Imperial between 1953 and 1958, but Clarence played only on the first session (trombone). In 1955 he was fired by Mitchell and started singing solo in West Bank clubs like the Fatman and the Chicken Shack.
He joined Bobby Mitchell's R&B band in 1953 and stayed with them for about two years before going on to other bands in the New
Orleans area. He tried his hand at song writing and recording also.
In late 1956 a song that Clarence had written helped him to become somewhat of an overnight sensation. That song was Ain't Got No Home. The song was leased to Argo Records in Chicago, with Clarence singing in a falsetto voice when he says he can "sing like a girl" and in a contrived, humorous voice when he says he can "sing like a frog." It was a fun novelty hit that vaulted to the number 3 position on the R&B charts and to number 20 on the pop charts. It also served to give the nineteen-year-old a nickname that would stick with him for life, "Frogman." The flip side of Ain't Got No Home was also very good. Titled Troubles, Troubles, it was an up-tempo song on which Clarence shared writing credits with bandleader Paul Gayten.

Clarence Henry continued to perform around New Orleans in the late Fifties and early Sixties before he came up with his next big hit. Once again on the Argo label, he had two more records reach the Top Twenty, But I Do [also known as I Don't Know Why] and You Always Hurt The One You Love. The latter had been a number one hit for the Mills Brothers in 1944. These records wereproduced by Gayten and legendary New Orleans record producer Allen Toussaint. There were other minor hits also, such as On Bended Knees/Standing In The Need Of Love and Lonely Street. He switched to the Parrot label and just missed with a record titled Have You Ever Been Lonely.
Henry opened eighteen concerts for The Beatles across the U.S. and Canada in 1964, but his main source of income came from the Bourbon Street strip in New Orleans, where he played for nineteen years. His name could still draw hordes of tourists long after his hit-making days had ended. Clarence Henry's pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.
Clarence Henry has been active on the music scene in New Orleans for many years since his fling with the charts. He is well known and well liked in his native city. His home was damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but he was not injured.
Clarence was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame® on May 9, 2005. In April of 2007, The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame honoured "Frogman" for his contributions to Louisiana music by inducting him into The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame.

For many years, Clarence was a regular at the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He is now semi-retired, enjoying his status as a beloved elder statesman of New Orleans R&B. His house in N.O. is filled with frog memorabilia, sent by fans from all over the world.
 (info edited mainly from Wikipedia &

Here's the very entertaining Clarence Frogman Henry appearing on the ITV International Entertainers Show 1985. HE Performs 2 songs "Keep Your Hands Off Her" by Junior" Kimbrough & "What'd I Say" by Ray Charles.

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For “Clarence "Frogman" Henry - The Complete Argo Recordings” go here:

1. Ain't Got No Home
2. But I Do
3. Troubles, Troubles
4. It Won't Be Long
5. I Found a Home
6. Lonely Tramp
7. I'm a Country Boy
8. Baby, Baby Please
9. I'm in Love
10. Lonely Street
11. If I Didn't Care
12. I Want to be a Movie Star
13. Never Never
14. Long Lost and Worried
15. On Bended Knees
16. Lost Without You
17. I Love You Yes I Do
18. Come On and Dance
19. Dream Myself a Sweetheart
20. Little Suzy
21. Two to Tango
22. I Wish I Could Say the Same
23. Why Can't You
24. Steady Date
25. Looking Back
26. Just My Baby and Me
27. A Little Too Much
28. Your Picture
29. Live it Right
30. Oh Why
31. Standing in the Need of Love
32. The Jealous Kind
33. Oh Mickey
34. You Always Hurt the One You Love