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Bobby McClure

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Soul singer Bobby McClure was born on April 21, 1942, in Chicago, IL. By the time of his second birthday, his family had relocated to St. Louis, and by the age of nine, McClure had begun singing in church. His fine tenor voice quickly caught the attention of others, as he sang with several of the area's best-known gospel groups, including the Soul Stirrers, which Sam Cooke was singing lead with at the time. It wasn't long though until McClure tried his hand at singing other musical styles, including R&B and doo wop, honing his talents with such outfits as Bobby and the Vocals, drummer Big Daddy Jenkins' band, and singing in renowned bandleader Oliver Sain's outfit. McClure also took a pair of up-and-coming artists under his wing, Little Milton and Fontella Bass, who would both go on to successful music careers (McClure and Bass would eventually record a duet together in 1965, "Don't Mess Up a Good Thing," which was a U.S. Top 40 hit). During the '60s, McClure had relocated back to Chicago, where he worked with both Otis Clay and Little Milton, before moving to St. Louis, where he duetted with Shirley Brown and recording a few singles for the Memphis-based Hi label. Although McClure would record a few singles during the '80s, for the most part, he turned his back on music, working as a corrections officer in an Illinois penitentiary. But he couldn't stay out of music for long, as he moved to Los Angeles to play with others and record. But McClure's career was cut short on November 13, 1992, when he died at the age of 50 from a stroke following a brain aneurysm. ~ Greg Prato

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21 April 1942 in Chicago, IL

Years Active:

'60s, '70s, '80s