David Clayton-Thomas was a Canadian musician, best known for his hit songs “Underwater” and “Spirit in the Sky.” He is also the father of actor Clayton Thomas.
David Clayton-Thomas was born in 1947 and is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and musician. He has written over 100 songs and has released over 30 albums in his career.
During their peak popularity, David Clayton-Thomas led Blood, Sweat & Tears, singing songs including “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” “And When I Die,” “Hi-De-Ho,” and his own composition “Spinning Wheel.” The latter hinted to his musical aspirations, and when the group’s hot streak ended in 1972, he embarked on a solo career, which he soon put on hold in order to rejoin the group in 1975. Clayton-Thomas split his time between Blood, Sweat & Tears and a solo career after that, ultimately quitting the band in 2004. He went on the tour as a solo act after that, sometimes going into the studio for new recordings.
Clayton-Thomas was the son of a Canadian soldier and a musician mother. He was born David Henry Thomsett in Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey, England on September 13, 1941. He was raised in Willowdale, Toronto, where he had a tumultuous childhood and found comfort in music. He started performing and, like other early 1960s Canadian rockers, was taught by rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins before forming his own band. In 1964, he created the Fabulous Shays under the stage name David Clayton-Thomas, who recorded a version of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom.” The trio was invited to perform on NBC’s Hullabaloo as a result of it, but Clayton-Thomas soon departed and drifted into folk and blues. He decided to create the jazz-inspired Bossmen after performing Toronto coffee shops for a while, and they scored a success with “Brainwashed” in 1966. Clayton-Thomas recorded Sings Like It Is! for Roman Records in Canada in 1968, then moved to New York City to perform folk venues until he met Bobby Colomby, the drummer for Blood, Sweat & Tears. Blood, Sweat & Tears were searching for a singer to replace the recently departed Al Kooper at the time, and Clayton-Thomas joined the band when Columbia’s president Clive Davis gave his approval — but not before Decca released an album named David Clayton-Thomas!
Blood, Sweat & Tears, the singer’s first and second albums with the band, was a smash hit, reaching number one on the Billboard charts, winning the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1970, and spawning the hits “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” “Spinning Wheel,” and “And When I Die,” all of which reached number two in 1969. In 1970, Blood, Sweat & Tears 3 was released, resulting in the minor successes “Hi-De-Ho” (which reached number 14) and “Lucretia Mac Evil” (29). With 1971’s B, S, & T 4, the band’s impetus halted, and Clayton-Thomas departed following the album’s release. In early 1972, the singer released an eponymous album, which was followed by Tequila Sunrise in the new year, before signing with RCA in 1973 and releasing Harmony Junction. He also presented The David Clayton-Thomas Show, a CBC music television series, in 1973. Clayton-Thomas rejoined Blood, Sweat & Tears in 1975, and his second album, New City, was released that year. Before leaving the group, Bobby Colomby kept the rights to the band’s name and released two additional albums, More Than Ever in 1976 and Brand New Day in 1977.
Clayton-Thomas recorded another solo album, Clayton, on ABC in 1977, and then got permission from Colomby to create a new Blood, Sweat, and Tears for Nuclear Blues in 1980. Following that album, the band officially disbanded, but the vocalist chose to resume touring in 1983, embarking on a period in which he toured alone but was billed as Blood, Sweat, and Tears by promoters. Clayton-Thomas and Bobby Colomby eventually came to an agreement in 1984 that allowed him to tour with a rotating lineup under the Blood, Sweat & Tears moniker, a partnership that lasted for 30 years. Clayton-Thomas ceased using the name in 2004, returned to his birthplace of Toronto, and started working under his real name for the following several decades, touring and releasing albums on a regular basis. He’d returned to solo recording a year before, with Blue Plate on Stony Plain in 1997, but Aurora, his first album since quitting Blood, Sweat & Tears, was released in 2005. Spectrum came next in 2009, with Soul Ballads following closely after in 2010. In 2013, he published A Blues for the New World, and in 2015, he put together a combination named Combo for Combo, before releasing the solo Soul Ballads before the end of the year. In October 2016, he published the full-length Canadiana, a collection of covers of Canadian composers’ songs. In December, he released “Ode to the Donald,” a protest song against Donald J. Trump’s victory in the United States.
David Clayton-Thomas is a Canadian singer, songwriter and musician. He was born in Toronto, Ontario on December 12th, 1938. His music career started when he joined The Jive Aces as a teenager. In 1958, he became the lead vocalist for The Dave Clark Five with the release of their first single Bits And Pieces. Reference: david clayton-thomas brainwashed.
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