Founding Fathers: Tony Clarke And “The Entertainer”
Tony Clarke was a New York City-born soul singer whose Founding Father status revolves around a pair of much-loved singles recorded during the 1960s.
Born Ralph Thomas Williams around 1944, Tony Clarke began in the music industry as a songwriter. He’s most well-known as a songwriter for his tunes “Pushover” and “Two Sides to Every Story,” both hits for Etta James.
On his own, he was most successful with his laid-back soul song “The Entertainer,” a Top 10 R&B hit (and #31 charter on the pop chart) in 1965. The flipside, “This Heart of Mine,” is considered a top number by fans of the soul sub-genre known as “beach music.”
Clarke didn’t live to see his resurgence on the UK Northern Soul scene in the 1970s, having died early in the decade, reportedly during a domestic dispute.
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