Wednesday, April 10, 2024

New Orleans Music Icon Clarence 'Frogman' Henry Dead at 87

Clarence "Frogman" Henry, the legendary New Orleans R&B singer known for his distinctive voice and hits like "Ain't Got No Home," has died at the age of 87.

His death on Sunday, was first announced by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation on social media.

The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate later reported that the family confirmed to the publication that he died of complications following back surgery.

Born in New Orleans on March 19, 1937, Clarence Henry Jr. began his musical journey at a young age, drawing inspiration from icons such as Fats Domino and Professor Longhair. His breakthrough came in 1956 with the release of "Ain't Got No Home," featuring his signature croak that earned him the nickname "Frogman." The song became a national hit and propelled Henry to stardom as a teenager.

The song reached No. 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went on to become a perennial favorite on movie soundtracks, including those of popular films like “Forrest Gump,” “Diner,” and “Casino."

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Henry continued to enjoy success with hits like "(I Don't Know Why) But I Do" and "You Always Hurt the One You Love." He even toured with The Beatles during their first U.S. trip in 1964.

Despite his national fame, Henry remained deeply rooted in New Orleans, performing regularly on Bourbon Street for nearly two decades. He retired from touring in 1981 but continued to make appearances at events like the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, where he was a beloved fixture.

In addition to his contributions to music, Henry's songs found new life in various films, commercials, and covers by other artists, cementing his legacy in the music industry. His induction into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and recognition by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame further solidified his status as a music icon.

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