Biography All Music Guide
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.