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King, Clydie (21st August 1943-7th January 2019)

She was a singer born Clydie May King in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Dallas, Texas, who was singing from a young age and discovered when she was still only 12 or 13 by the songwriter Richard Berry.  By that time she had already sung in church with another youngster, Billy Preston.

She had a recording contract from 1956 when she sang with her group Little Clydie & The Teens.  It wasn’t long before she was spotted by Ray Charles who proceeded to employ her as a member of his back group The Raelettes.  She also sang the duet “Sweet Memories” with him.

In the early 1960s she was performing on several of the singles produced by Phil Spector and at the same time she recorded her own solo material which was released by several record labels that include Kent Records and Specialty Records.

She became a member of The Blackberries but her main success was as an in-demand backing vocalist for countless top acts that include Hoyt, Axton, Bang, Elvin Bishop, Bonnie Bramlett, Elkie Brooks, Tim Buckley, Paul Butterfield, Blondie Chaplin, Michel Colombier, Jesse Ed Davis, Jackie DeShannon, Firefall, Jerry Garcia, Russ Giguere, Arlo Guthrie, Richie Havens, Al Kooper, Kris Kristofferson, Dave Mason, Delbert McClinton, Bette Midler, Johnny Rivers, Tommy Roe, Dusty Springfield, Steppenwolf, Billy Swan,

Aside from releasing her own singles from 1956 to 1976 she also put out the albums Direct Me in 1972, Brown Sugar which is credited as Brown Sugar featuring Clydie King in 1973, Rushing to Meet You in 1976 and The Imperial & Minit Years in 2007.

Other albums she worked on, which are many, include Two the Hard Way by Greg Allman, Hearts by America, Love Country Style by Ray Charles, No Other by Gene Clark, Luxury You Can Afford by Joe Cocker, It’s Only Love by Rita Coolidge, Carry On by Crosby, Still & Nash, Beautiful Noise by Neil Diamond, Full Circle by The Doors, Saved by Bob Dylan, Cass Elliott by Cass Elliott, Eat It by Humble Pie, Caribou by Elton John, King of the Blues by B.B. King, Second Helping by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Two Sides of the Moon by Keith Moon, Songs for Beginners by Graham Nash, Blues and Gray by Poco, Exile on Main St. by The Rolling Stones, Heart Like a Wheel by Linda Ronstadt, Baby It’s Me by Diana Ross, Retrospective by Leon Russell, Endless Flight by Leo Sayer, Stranger in Town by Bob Seger, Playing Possum by Carly Simon, Back to Mono 1958-1969 by Phil Spector, Goodnight Vienna by Ringo Starr,  Aja and The Royal Scam by Steely Dan, Stoney End by Barbra Streisand, Smoker You Drink Player You Get by Joe Walsh, 1234 by Ron Wood, Monkey Grip by Bill Wyman and the soundtrack of A Star is Born.

She was also known by her married name Clydie Crittendon.

She died in Monrovia, California in January 2019 when she was 75 years old.

Tommy Roe recordings
Dizzy (Tommy Roe/Freddy Weller)
ABC Records – 45-11164 (US)