Tommy McLain

This artist performing as part of the collective "Songs Over Style" on May 24 8pm at Warehouse 535

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Tommy McLain is considered a founding father of the “Swamp Pop” genre - a “Swamp Poppa”!

McLain grew up near Jonesville, La. and first began performing in the 1950s, along with country singer Clint West. The two were both members of The Vel-Tones in the late 1950s and The Boogie Kings in the 1960s, with whom they recorded a hit duet of "Try to Find Another Man" in 1965. Tommy also performed on Dick Clark’s Caravan Of Stars and was an influential DJ at Louisiana radio station KREH. McLain's greatest fame came with his recording of the song “Sweet Dreams” which hit #15 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1966. That same year it reached #49 in the UK singles chart where he toured with The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds in promotion of the record.

As a writer he first enjoyed success from penning Freddy Fender’s #1hit single "If You Don't Love Me Alone (Leave Me Alone)". He was for many years in the stable of Huey Meaux’s legendary Krazy Kajun label out of Houston, Tx. McLain appears along with his Mule Train Band in the Paul Newman film “The Drowning Pool”. Renown for his stunning voice, McLain continues to perform in the American deep south with his backing group the Mule Train Band and Swamp Pop supergroup Lil’ Band O’ Gold. His original tunes such as “Jukebox Songs”, “Babydolls” and “Roses Don’t Grow Here Anymore” remain requested favorite staples at regional radio to this day.

McLain is a member of The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame. The award-winning British pop artist Lilly Allen had Tommy along with Lil’ Band O’ Gold perform at her wedding and placed his cover of Fat’s Domino and Bobby Charles’ jukebox classic "Before I Grow Too Old" as one of her eight favorite songs on the popular British radio program Desert Island Disks. Tommy is currently recording a new batch of original tunes that he’s written in recent years. A mix of ballads and rockers, he claims that the new recordings are “like what Johnny Cash did at the end of his career, but without using Bono and Trent Reznor songs”. Tommy McLain is a super soulful legend and a gem.

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Madison Barras