Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Clyde Dickerson And the Tear Drops

Clyde Dickerson And the Tear Drops
Kinzua 102

12401 - Guess Who [wr Jo Anne Belvin], cover ot the Jesse Belvin hit
12402 - Cool Week-End

Also issued on the Eastern label (601) owned by Juggy Murray.

Guess Who

Born 1923 in Bristol, Tennessee, Clyde Dickerson attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston. In the fifties, he lived in Olean, Upstate New-York and played saxophone in the local band, the Rock-Itts who had a single issued late '58 by the Hamburg Prime label. The band were a sure sell-out at the Cuba Lake Pavilion in the late fifties. Next he was member of a Buffalo group called the Jesters.

Clyde may have been a member of Red Arrow and the Braves (he wrote both sides of their release on Kinzua 101.)

He moved to the Washington area where he performed in jazz clubs in the Washington area and beyond while holding down a day job as a doorman at the Watergate Hotel for 20 years. (That's when he acquired his nickname "Watergate Clyde").

He worked often with trumpet player Jimmy Burrell, and performed at various times with artists like Oran "Hot Lips" Page, the Mangione brothers, David Ruffin and Rick James. He also appeared in a Lester Young tribute with Shirley Horn and saxmen Byron Morris and Ron Holloway.
Prior to his death, he talked of writing a book mixing stories about his celebrity run-ins with what he knew about the Watergate scandal--though he generally shied away from recounting the infamous break-in, preferring to focus on his music. "He was so relaxed when he was playing the sax," recalls guitarist Lee Cathey, who met Dickerson while browsing at a local record store. "He had a lovely singing voice, too--hearing him was just the coolest thing that you could imagine. Playing with Clyde was, like, experiencing the real thing."
His last performance was on Capitol Hill, at Ellington's at Eighth, shortly before his death in hospital following a stroke. He died February 5, 2003 in Washington, DC.

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