Jimmy Clanton Is Still Rockin’

As we all know, a lot of musical stars from earlier eras have managed to find renewed success in later years by performing in nostalgia-based shows, and in some cases have even returned to the recording studio. One who has held up remarkably well is former teen idol Jimmy Clanton — but he was always recognized as someone who was a cut above most of his early contemporaries.

When he first began performing in the mid-1950s, while still in high school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Clanton was one of a new wave of guys who were beginning to bring R&B sounds to white audiences. (Another Baton Rouge rocker — Johnny Rivers — would soon follow.) Fronting his own combo called the Dixie Cats, he performed many of the same songs that guys like Little Richard and Fats Domino were making popular.

Clanton eventually joined up with a group called the Rockets and then began hitting the recording studio in New Orleans. By 1958 he was beginning to make his mark with several records on the charts, striking gold with his mega-seller, “Just a Dream.”

It made him a star, and Clanton was soon showing up everywhere from American Bandstand to the Hollywood Bowl. Over the next few years he continued to sell a lot of records with songs like “Letter to an Angel” and “Go Jimmy Go,” and even appeared in a couple of teen-rock movies. Along the way, his clean-cut good looks and choices in songs helped turn him into a genuine teen idol.

Although Clanton did have to spend a couple of years fulfilling his military obligation, he managed to keep some career momentum going with occasional record releases, and just about the time he returned to full-time music he enjoyed one of his biggest hits, “Venus in Blue Jeans.” But it would be his last highly-charted record and within a few years he was doing other things. However, in the last couple of decades Clanton has been very successfully entertaining his fans again, and he still sounds pretty darn good.

Jimmy Clanton – “Venus in Blue Jeans”

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27 thoughts on “Jimmy Clanton Is Still Rockin’

  1. He had somethin’ special when he recorded for Ace Records.He still has that same quality and it shows in his performances today. Nice goin’ Jimmy. See you here, there, or in the air! God Bless.

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  2. Jimmy has a new CD “everybody Needs Love” . These are new original songs written by Jimmy. These are the best songs of his career..sensual and celestial.. A must hear and a must have . Go to http://www.jimmyclanton.com to listen…phenomenal CD and entertainer!

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  3. To this day, I think of Jimmy Clanton as my original “idol”. I thought he was just adorable….and he still is! I saw him in Concert in Miami Beach in the late 50’s, and some friends and I got to meet him at the SoBe Hotel he was staying in after the concert. It was really very exciting for me at the time…..I got to meet the singer that I was crazy about!! I will never forget it!

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  4. Jimmy played in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the early fifties….he was quite memorable….smooth, a true class act, I wish we could all re live those wonderful days. The room was filled to capacity and people listended. Everyone there wanted to be just like him.

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  5. Jimmy Clanton is still performing all over the country with a voice that sounds better than ever. He’s also on Facebook to interact with his fans. Go to http://www.jimmyclanton,com to listen to his Legacy CD “Everybody Needs Love,” original Love songs to swoon over written and sung Jimmy Clanton style!!

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  6. Helpful info. Fortunate me I found your website by chance,
    and I’m shocked why this coincidence didn’t came about in advance!
    I bookmarked it.

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  7. He is as good now as he ever was. Too bad record companies don’t keep great voices like his around no matter what type of music.

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  8. I saw Go Johnny Go on TCM recently. I loved it! I was a young teenager when it was made,
    but I somehow missed that movie. Always loved all of his music. So happy to know that
    he’s still performing, has Jesus in his life and apparently a happy marriage and family. He also
    looks great!

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  9. Hi Jimmy, remember me? Sy Levy former manager of WHEX Radio! How are you? What are you doing now? How’s the family? My best to them (if they remember me).

    Like

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