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Clarence “Frogman” Henry

He could sing such as a female, and he could sing such as a frog. That last mentioned trademark croak, useful to the potential on his 1956 debut smash “Ain’t Got No House,” gained good-natured Clarence Henry his nickname and jump-started a rewarding profession that endured for over 40 years throughout the Crescent Town. Naturally, Extra fat Domino and Teacher Longhair were youthful Clarence Henry’s primary influences while we were young within the Big Easy. He performed piano and trombone with Bobby Mitchell & the Toppers from 1952 to 1955 before getting on with saxist Eddie Smith’s music group. Henry improvised the essential idea behind “Ain’t Got No House” in the bandstand one morning hours within the wee hours; once the audience responded favorably, he honed it into something exclusive. Paul Gayten (New Orleans A&R guy for Chess Information) concurred, hustling Henry into Cosimo Matassa’s studio room in Sept of 1956. Regional DJ Poppa Stoppa laid the “Frogman” deal with in the youngster when he spun the 45 (released within the Chess subsidiary Argo), and it trapped. Despite some good follow-ups — “IT WILL NOT Be Very long,” “I’m in Like,” the unavoidable sequel “I CAME ACROSS a house” — Frog sank back to the marsh sales-wise until 1960, when Allen Toussaint’s up to date arrangement melded wonderfully having a country-tinged Bobby Charles structure called “(I HAVE NO IDEA Why) But I REALLY DO.” Henry’s rendition from the tune demonstrated an enormous pop smash in early 1961, as do a Domino-tinged “You Constantly Hurt the main one YOU LIKE” later on that yr. Frogman continuing to record a number of New Orleans-styled older requirements and catchy originals for Argo (Chess put together a Henry recording that boasted what will be the most severe cover artwork in the annals of rock and roll & move), even documenting at one stage with Nashville saxist Footwear Randolph and pianist Floyd Cramer. However the hits dry out once and for all after 1961. Henry opened up 18 concerts for the Beatles over the U.S. and Canada in 1964, but his primary income source originated from the Bourbon Road remove, where he performed for 19 years. You may still discover him joyously reviving his classics at the brand new Orleans Jazz & History Festival — along with his croak staying as deep and melodious as ever.

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