Mighty Sam McClain, 72, suffered a stroke in April and died Monday night. The cause of death was not declared. “If you listen closely, you can hear his mighty voice and music from heaven,” McClain’s Facebook page wrote.
Mighty Sam McClain was born in Monroe, Louisiana and began singing with his mother’s gospel group. Sam hit the road as a teenager to escape his abusive stepfather and toured on the infamous “Chitlin Circuit.” In the mid to late 1960’s Sam worked in Muscle Shoals, Nashville and New Orleans with artists like the Neville Brothers and Wayne Bennett. Mighty Sam McClain even had a surprise R&B hit with a soulful rendition of Patsy Cline’s classic “Sweet Dreams.” His career never really took off after that but he never left music behind. By the end of the 80’s he had relocated to New England and got involved with the recording of Hubert Sumlin’s Blues Party album on Black Top Records. His work led to a recording deal and Sam never looked back, recording and touring consistently and collecting accolades for his work.
Mighty Sam was a Grammy nominated singer and he released numerous albums during his career, including 15 since 1992. Mighty Sam has been honored by The Blues Foundation with nominations for many of his releases in several categories, most recently in 2013 for “Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey)” including Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and a nomination for Mighty Sam McClain as “Soul/Blues Male Artist” of the year. He leaves behind a lasting legacy that will keep him alive indefinitely.
Condolence cards for the family can be sent to P.O. Box 322, Newmarket, NH 03857
Photo courtesy of Mighty Sam McClain’s Official Fan Page