New in Paperback 2nd Edition:
One Of The Fortunate Few
Delbert McClinton: One Of The Fortunate Few, the new in-paper edition includes a new foreword, two new chapters, and several pivotal updates to this saga of Americana music. More than the story of a rags-to-riches musician,
This acclaimed biography offers readers a soundtrack to some of the most pivotal moments in the history of American popular music—all backed by a cooking rhythm section and featuring a hot harmonica lead.
Much has happened with Delbert McClinton since the first edition of Delbert McClinton: One Of The Fortunate Few was released in 2017. He received the Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award, and Rolling Stone called him “The Godfather of Americana Music.” He received a Grammy® in 2020 for Best Traditional Blues Album for Tall, Dark, & Handsome (Hot Shot Records/Thirty Tigers).
This book chronicles McClinton’s path through a free-range childhood in Lubbock and Fort Worth; an early career in the desegregated roadhouses along Fort Worth’s Jacksboro Highway, where he led the house bands for Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, and others while making a name for himself as a regional player in the birth of rock and roll; headlining shows in England with a little-known Liverpool quartet called The Beatles; and heading back to Texas in time for the progressive movement, kicking off Austin’s burgeoning role in American music history.
Delbert McClinton, 80, has had plenty of time to reflect on his 63-year music career during this pandemic. For the first time in six decades, he has been off the road and off stage for more than a year. He has made an important decision, with an announcement to his band members, crew, and organization this week that he will stop touring. “I have had a rewarding career, and I have accomplished more than I ever dreamed I would. With that in mind, this is a good time to retire.”
Delbert adds that with a Grammy win (2020 Best Traditional Blues), a great album (Tall, Dark & Handsome: Hot Shot Records/Thirty Tigers), the Americana Lifetime Achievement Award, and the best band and crew with whom he has ever had the pleasure of sharing a stage (Self-Made Men + Dana), this is a good time to “sell the bus.”
Critical Acclaim for the Book
“Delbert McClinton’s singing, songwriting, and harmonica playing have been at the center of Texas soul and rock and roll so long that it can seem effortless—the man of maximum cool. But in Diana Hendricks’s biography, she employs his words, those of his peers, and her narrative skill to convey that it’s often been a struggle for him. Her fine book takes us for a knowing ride inside the rough-and-tumble life of an important and hard-working career musician.”—Jan Reid, author of The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock and Sins of the Younger Sons
“Delbert has long been revered as one of the greatest soul and blues singers alive. He’s also a great songwriter, harp player, bandleader, and entrepreneur. In this engaging and revealing biography, you follow his extraordinary journey from Texas roadhouse to international acclaim, including decades of shepherding one of the most successful Blues Cruise companies. Delbert is the nexus of where blues/R&B and country meet, and his life and music span the richest era at the start of rock ’n’ roll. He helped create the music we now love and celebrate as Americana and roots. He’s as fascinating and authentic as his music.”—Bonnie Raitt
"There has never been but one Delbert McClinton, and the likes of him will not be known again. This book illuminates what made him and what he made." —Nick Tosches, author of Hellfire: The Jerry Lee Lewis Story
“No other single human epitomizes the pleasures and contradictions of Texas music like Delbert McClinton. Call whatever he has been doing for more than sixty years country, rhythm ’n’ blues, roadhouse rock, honky-tonk, rockabilly, Northern Soul, or beach music, and you won’t be wrong. Delbert McClinton does all of that while delivering a splendiferous uplifting of the soul whenever he opens his mouth in front of a microphone and an audience. Whether it’s Jimmy Reed, the Beatles, or John Belushi, the stories he tells to Diana Finlay Hendricks about the people whose paths he has crossed are mythic and larger than life its own self. Most of them are even true.”—Joe Nick Patoski, author of Willie Nelson: An Epic Life and Stevie Ray Vaughan: Caught in the Crossfire
“Asserts the songwriter's centrality in forging a uniquely Texas blend of blues, country, R&B, and rock.” —The Austin Chronicle
“Delbert McClinton’s many fans will find One of the Fortunate Few reaffirming, shedding light on a truly selfless, generous soul. Those unfamiliar with Delbert will be instantly drawn to him and will undoubtedly seek out his music and touring schedule. When you realize McClinton was playing at the birth of rock n’ roll in the ‘50s, shared some harmonica tips with John Lennon, and has played just about every kind of American music in every conceivable venue from dives to the world’s biggest stages, you can’t help but admire this living legend. His story is of endurance, sacrifice, perseverance, and ultimately success in the unforgiving often cruel music business.”—Elmore Magazine
DIANA FINLAY HENDRICKS, based in the Texas Hill Country, has spent her career in journalism and feature writing with a focus on Texas and Southern music and culture. A regular contributor to the Journal for Texas Music History, Lone Star Music and other publications, she contributed a chapter on James McMurtry to Pickers and Poets: The Ruthlessly Poetic Singer-Songwriters of Texas. She is currently working on a book of photographic essays on Mexican tequila, mezcal and sotol; and two creative non-fiction music-related projects, as well as her first foray into fiction. DianaHendricks.com