Few know that the man behind some of the most iconic and memorable songs of the 1960s had to first overcome a childhood of abuse and neglect. Growing up, David Clayton-Thomas experienced beatings, homelessness and incarceration which could have led him hopelessly down the wrong path.
But at the age of 17, while in prison, he discovered his voice and taught himself to play the guitar. It was just the ticket he needed to turn his life around.
He chalks it up to good fortune, but it takes far more than that to have an album sell 10 million copies and stay on the charts 109 weeks. The first album Blood Sweat & Tears released with him as lead singer yielded an unheard of three gold singles and three Grammy awards including one for best albums.
Songs like “Spinning Wheel,” “You Make Me So Very Happy” and “And When I Die” made his voice instantly recognizable. In various forms, Blood, Sweat & Tears continued to tour until recently. Clayton-Thomas didn’t just want to be an oldies act doing 250 dates a year.
Now he does a limited number of shows and is back in the studio writing new material. He says he’s as inspired as ever and looks forward to new relevance in his later years.
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