Mighty Sam McClain Biography
Grammy Award Nominee
Indie Awards Nominee
Real Blues Magazine – RB & Soul Performer 1997-2004
W.C. Handy Awards Nominee – since 1994
Germany’s Talkin’ Blues Winner – Blues Entertainer – 1998
Trophee’s France Blues Winner Int’l Performer – 1998
Boston Music Awards Nominee – 1997 - 2004
Academy for Advancement of High End Audio – Winner 1996
NAIRD Award – Winner 1996
Boston Music Awards – Winner 1993 – Best Blues Album & Blues Act
Sam McClain was born on the northern edge of the Bible Belt in Monroe, Louisiana in 1943. As a five year old, he began singing in his mother’s Gospel Church. It was then that he realized singing was his mission. He left home when he was thirteen to escape an abusive stepfather and followed local R&B guitarist, "Little Melvin" Underwood through the Chitlin Circuit, first as his valet and then as lead vocalist himself.
While he was singing at the 506 Club in Pensacola, Florida he was introduced to Producer/ DJ, "Papa Don" Schroeder. In 1966, Sam recorded Patsy Cline’s "Sweet Dreams" – his first real success. Several recording sessions at Muscle Shoals produced singles, "Fannie-May" and "In the Same Old Way", but his career never really took off. For fifteen years, first in Nashville, then in New Orleans Sam worked menial jobs and was forced to sell his plasma while he was homeless. From cotton fields to the Apollo Theater to the park bench, all while living the songs that would jump-start his career in the mid-1980’s. New Orleans own, Neville Brothers (Bless you) extended themselves at this lowest of times. Sam was offered a chance to tour and record in Japan in 1989. "Live In Japan", featuring legendary Wayne Bennett is a truly fine recording, much sought after by fans worldwide.
By the early 1990’s Sam networked his way to New England by way of his association with the "Hubert Sumlin Blues Party" project (produced by Hammond Scott on Black Top), which involved many Boston based musicians. These friends provided encouragement and collaborations, which led to Joe Harley and AudioQuest Music. The results were these successful releases, "Give It Up To Love" and "Keep On Movin".
After his move to New Hampshire the momentum continued to build with "Sledgehammer Soul and Down Home Blues". In 1998 Sam had two releases, "Journey" (AQM) and "Joy and Pain –Live In Europe" on the CrossCut label. "Soul Survivor –The Best of MSM" was his farewell to AudioQuest in 1999. ("Journey" and "Soul Survivor" both include "New Man In Town", featured on David E. Kelley’s Ally McBeal on FOX-TV). Sam signed on with the Telarc Blues label in 1999, taking his longtime producer Joe Harley with him and recorded W.C. Handy nominated "Blues For The Soul in 2000 and "Sweet Dreams" in 2001 (also Handy nominated)
When Sam started to take back his career in 1996 and turned to managing himself, he founded McClain Management, which is dedicated to maintaining the integrity and individuality of artists on it’s roster. His publishing company, Emily’s Son Publishing, has been licensed since 1993 when his original work appeared on "Give "It Up To Love". McClain formed McClain Productions after successfully co-producing his CD’s with Joe Harley. And now, the last step of his independence has been realized through the creation of his own label, Mighty Music. Mighty Music will release his new CD "One More Bridge To Cross" in February 2003. His newest project, "Betcha Didn’t Know" which is as yet unreleased, is available for pre-release review.
Mighty Sam McClain is in control – of his life and career as he continues to perform nationally and internationally. It’s full steam ahead for this great vocalist! "The Soul of America" is what he is called in Europe – he is, just as the lyrics he wrote, "I’m a singer, a man with a song…and I’ve got a message for you…"
* Pulse Magazine