|Tags:||blues harmonica harmonica blues classic blues harp|
|Decades:||1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
29 March 1951, Inglewood, California, USA, d. 2 November 1996, Torrence, California, USA. Clarke began playing harmonica at the age of 16, inspired by the records of Junior Wells and Walter Horton. He turned professional two years later, and by the late 70s had become a well-respected harmonica player and singer on the Los Angeles blues scene. He associated with Smokey Wilson, Shakey Jake Harris, and George Smith, with the latter, in particular, being a great influence. Clarke recorded in his own right for the Good Time, Rivera, and Alligator Records labels, and in 1991 paid homage to his roots by playing on an acclaimed Los Angeles blues anthology Hard Times, which he compiled and produced for Black Magic Records. Shortly after the release of The Hard Way in 1996, Clarke died following surgery for bleeding ulcers.