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Hold On, It's Dee Clark (Expanded Edition)

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Album Review

A beautifully sung and produced effort, Hold on, It's Dee Clark treads some of the same ground that Sam Cooke and Clyde McPhatter were exploring during this era, trying to mix rhythm & blues with sophisticated pop and ending up somewhere on the soul spectrum. Clark's rendition of "Portrait of My Love," for example, gets lush yet tasteful string accompaniment behind Clark's soaring performance, which is almost more in a pop vein than strictly "soul" as listeners have come to know it. Yet his rendition of "Cupid" is grittier than Cooke's own version — but then Clark switches gears on his own "Always Together" into an almost Johnny Mathis mode. The whole album shifts constantly in mood and tone, but despite the pop elements that sometimes intrude almost too far, Clark makes it all hang together as a prime example of sophisticated soul. Indeed, this album may hold up better in many ways than Sam Cooke's album work of the same era, Cooke having been prevailed upon by his producers to deliver "Twist" records around this time, which were mostly beneath his talent. Clark seemed far more comfortable working in a pop vein on numbers like "Whisperin' Grass," switching gears convincingly right into the lusty, passionate, and pounding "I Want to Love You" and "Your Friends" — though even he seems to run up against a brick wall on a cha-cha rhythm rendition of "Nature Boy." Additionally, his songwriting contributions here, including "Raindrops" and "I Want to Love You," generally hold up well, and it's just surprising that the former, a major pop hit for Clark, wasn't played up bigger on the cover.


Born: November 7, 1938 in Blytheville, AR

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Though largely unknown among contemporary audiences, Dee Clark was one of the most successful R&B singers of the late '50s and early '60s, his resonant, expressive tenor gracing classics like "Raindrops" and "(Hey) Little Girl." Delecta Clark was born in Blytheville, Arkansas on November 7, 1938; from the age of three, he grew up on Chicago's West Side, in 1952 joining with schoolmates Sammy McGrier and Ronnie Strong in the Hambone Kids. A fad that required performers to slap their thighs, chests,...
Full Bio
Hold On, It's Dee Clark (Expanded Edition), Dee Clark
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  • Partial Album
  • Genres: Pop, Music, R&B/Soul, Soul
  • Released: 1961

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