Journeyman rock singer whose good fortune was to be paired with Roy Brown in an act at a New Orleans club in the weeks leading up to the release of Brown’s breakthrough record “Good Rocking Tonight”. When the song hit and Aristocrat Records came to town looking to somehow capitalize on Brown’s newfound success they ended up signing Samuels as the next best thing. Despite the charade almost getting him killed, it did launch a lengthy career for the singer.

Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1923, Samuels, who’d moved to New Orleans at twenty years old in 1943, possessed a strident baritone and little in the way of versatility, yet was a reasonably effective vocalist who offered little variety but delivered each song with determined enthusiasm.

Not quite 24 years old he secured a job as manager/performer at the Down Beat Club which would soon employ Roy Brown and the two performed together nightly as The Blues Twins, though no mention is made of how their act was constructed, whether they each did a separate set or if they shared the stage, and thus presumably shared Brown’s material as well. When Roy was lured away to another club soon after his record broke Samuels remained until fate came knocking.

After his Aristocrat tenure which offered him perhaps his best chance at stardom, since he was merely singing all of Roy Brown’s songs and passing them off as his own (even getting writing credit on them), he bounced from one record label to another over the next decade and a half, never earning a hit but carving out a decent career with some solid efforts before fading into obscurity, a mere footnote in the career of a legend.
CLARENCE SAMUELS DISCOGRAPHY (Reviews To Date On Spontaneous Lunacy):
(Aristocrat 1001; December, 1947)
Cover of Roy Brown record from his ex-partner, Samuels doesn’t possess the voice or interpretive abilities of Brown, but on this song had the benefit of a better band working behind him and that, along with his enthusiasm, gives this version the slight edge. (5)

(Aristocrat 1001; December, 1947)
Another Roy Brown cover, albeit with a title change, but one which suffers from much poorer instrumental support and without the vocal power of Brown to make up for it this one falls well short of the original. (3)

(Aristocrat 1003; February, 1948)
Though Samuels himself is pretty good here, especially during the payoff delivering the sex-themed lyrics, he’s done in by a band that – a sax solo aside – is so putrid that they keep him from even being able to reach first base, let alone get into scoring position. (3)

(Aristocrat 1003; February, 1948)
Though it’s a generic song by intent, lyrically and in terms of Samuels’ delivery, he deserved better than the tepid pop-styled horn backing which ensures it can’t even live up to its all-too modest ambitions. (2)

(Down Beat 131; May, 1948)
A solid meat and potatoes type song for Samuels to sink his teeth into, as he came up with a good story with some nice atmospheric details which allows him to give his voice a proper workout while the band churns effectively behind him. (5)

(DeLuxe 3219; April, 1949)
Another typically high energy performance from Samuels who delivers just enough of what’s expected of him to meet their modest aims where a few moments of inspiration are offset by a repetitive delivery and only moderate instrumental support. (4)

(DeLuxe 3219; April, 1949)
Featuring the thoroughly distasteful topic of demanding sex from a reluctant partner which then tries to take the onus off the implications in the final lines by switching the meaning but by then the damage has already been done… offensive lyrically and musically impotent to boot. (1)

(Freedom 1533; April, 1950)
By completely upending his typical approach and taking on a sad sack demeanor that he plays to perfection, Samuels reinvents himself on this utterly unique song that is charming and fun right down the band’s cartoonish accents that will surely put a smile on your face. (8)

(Freedom 1533; April, 1950)
A by-the-numbers raver with Samuels his usual wild self, exuberant without understanding the dynamics of how to sell it, but he’s engaging enough to be mildly satisfying anyway and the band carries out their task with class which doesn’t hurt. (4)

(Freedom 1541; July, 1950)
Finally finding his niche as he leans hard into the demented aspects of his delivery as Part One is particularly strong in spite of – and perhaps because of – its over-the-top nature, while Part Two ramps things up to the point of lunacy which might be too much for many to handle. (7)

(Freedom 1543; August, 1950)
Though a step back from his best sides to date on his first two Freedom releases, this is still an admirable attempt at branching out stylistically to something more introspective and subdued and while he doesn’t quite have the voice for it, his attempt is genuine. (4)

(Freedom 1544; September, 1950)
Building considerably off his last effort, Samuels manages to moderate his delivery and in the process come away with something deeper emotionally than his usual fare, even if as always he can’t help but frame it in some inappropriate themes. (6)

(Freedom 1544; September, 1950)
Not quite a reversion to form after a string of better releases, but this frames a weaker story with a less dynamic arrangement while letting Samuels’ vocal alone try and sell the enthusiasm, making this the weakest of his Freedom Records output.(4)