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Tommy McLain

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  • Born: Jonesville, LA
  • Years Active: 1990s


Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

With his gutsy blend of rockabilly and Cajun music, Tommy McLain helped to lay the foundation of Louisiana's swamp pop tradition. The writer of more than 150, McLain is best known as the writer of Freddy Fender's hit, "If You Don't Love Me Alone (Leave Me Alone)," and the performer of a swamp pop version of "Sweet Dreams" that sold more than three million copies in 1966. In addition to being twice inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame, McLain was inducted into the rock & roll hall of fame in Sweden. McLain has had a career-long involvement with country singer Clint West. In the late '50s, they were both members of Red Smiley's Vel-Tones and moved together to the Boogie Kings in the mid-'60s. In 1965, McLain and West recorded a duet single, "Try to Find Another Man." A native of the small central Louisiana city of Jonesville, McLain began playing guitar at the age of five. He soon added piano, keyboards, drums, bass, fiddle, and bagpipe. A former DJ at KREH in Oakdale, LA, McLain toured with Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars and Where the Action Is in the 1960s. He also appeared in the film The Drowning Man starring Paul Newman. McLain continues to perform with his group, Tommy McLain and the Mule Train Band.


Tommy McLain (born 15 March 1940, in Jonesville, Louisiana) is an American swamp pop musician, best known as a singer but who also plays keyboards, drums, bass guitar, and fiddle.

^ IMDb database


McLain first began performing in the 1950s, along with country singer Clint West. The two were both members of The Vel-Tones in the late 1950s and The Boogie Kings in the 1960s, and they recorded a duet, "Try to Find Another Man", in 1965. He also performed on Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars in the 1960s and DJed at Louisiana radio station, KREH. McLain's greatest fame was with his recording of the song "Sweet Dreams", which hit #15 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1966. It reached #49 in the UK Singles Chart the same year.

He also wrote Freddy Fender's hit single, "If You Don't Love Me Alone (Leave Me Alone)". McLain appears along with the Mule Train Band in the Paul Newman film, The Drowning Pool. McLain continues to perform in the American Deep south with his backing group the Mule Train Band.

In October 2007, McLain was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

McLain was more recently featured as a guest artist on an album recorded by Larry Lange and his Lonely Knights of Austin, TX, entitled "Wiggle Room"(2011), which debuts two brand new songs penned by McLain; perhaps the most notable one being, "Don't Make Me Leave New Orleans", a heart-felt ballad that McLain wrote in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Plans are in the works for McLain to rejoin Larry Lange to record a full-length album with the Lonely Knights.

The award-winning British artist Lily Allen included Tommy McLain's cover of "Before I Grow Too Old" as one of her 8 favorite songs. This was included on the popular British radio programme "Desert Island Discs" on 29 June 2014.

^ Billboard Singles, Allmusic.com^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 340. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. ^ Cite error: The named reference IMDb was invoked but never defined (see the help page).^ Louisiana Music Hall of Fame^ Hurricane Katrina