Clayton Hammond Jr born 21 June 1936 in Groesbeck, Texas
Clay Hammond was an original founding member of the Gospel greats "The Mighty Clouds Of Joy".in the late 50s Clay was the older brother of Walter Hammond, who was a singer with the original Olympics. Initially achieving success as a songwriter, Clay's composition 'Part Time Love' was a number 1 R&B single for ' Little' Johnny Taylor. Hammond later recorded for several labels, including Galaxy and Duo Disc, before settling with Kent in 1967.
His releases included two superb southern soul ballads, 'You Messed Up My Mind' (1966) and 'I'll Make It Up To You' (1968). Clay's subsequent recordings were more irregular, although a successful Japanese tour did produce an album, These Arms Of Mine. In 1981 he joined the Rivingtons, who were still working the oldies circuit on the strength of their novelty hit 'Papa Oom Mow Mow'. Hammond later sang with one of the many different Drifters groups while continuing to record as a solo artist
.His most well-known efforts from that time are the four singles he did for Kent between 1966-69. These mixed Southern soul, gospel, and blues styles, yet also had a somewhat lighter and poppier production aura than much Southern soul, perhaps because they were recorded in Los Angeles. All eight songs from these 45s, as well as eight others that were recorded but not released in the 1960s, appear on the Ace CD Southern , which also includes ten tracks recorded for Kent around the same time by fellow soul vocalist Z.Z. Hill.
"Clay's bittersweet, almost crying vocals bestow a syllable-bending nonchalance with a lyric, always belying an obvious Sam Cooke influence, though no one has ever mastered this style with quite the flair of Hammond, (Johnny Taylor, Bobby Womack and James Phelps arguably excepted!!)."
from Southern Soul Brothers cd notes
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