Bruce Channel Biography

Bruce Mcmeans, 28 November 1940, Jacksonville, Texas, USA. Born into a musical family, Channel was actively performing while still in high school. He secured a six-month residency on the prestigious The Louisiana Hayride show, which in turn resulted in a recording contract with Smash Records. In 1962 the singer scored a US chart-topper with the infectious ‘Hey Baby’ which also achieved gold record status on climbing to number 2 in the UK. Much of the song’s appeal, however, was derived from its distinctive harmonica passage, which was played by Delbert McClinton. His plaintive style influenced that of several subsequent releases, including the Beatles’ ‘Love Me Do’, although John Lennon later denied his influence. Channel’s career floundered over the ensuing years and his releases were confined to low-key labels including Le Cam and Mel-O-Dy. He was signed to Mala in 1968, but although this made no difference to his fortunes in America, the singer enjoyed another UK Top 10 hit with the exuberant ‘Keep On’. Long-time fans were perplexed by a figure vowing to return with a blues group featuring McClinton and guitarist Bobby Turner, but Channel’s new-found success proved short-lived, and the frantic ‘Mr. Bus Driver’ failed to chart. He has nonetheless continued to perform and in 1988 made a surprise guest appearance while on a visit to the UK, as a disc jockey on BBC Radio 2. He appeared with the Memphis Horns on their self-titled 1995 album.


Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.


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