Music Diary – 11th January

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 11th January!

Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen

Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen

Happy birthdy to Mr. Clarence Anicholas Clemons, Jr., better nown as „The Big Man“ and more better known as the tenor saxophone player of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band from 1972 until his passing in 2011. Clarence was born on the 11th January 1942 in Norfolk County, Virginia (USA).


At the age of nine, his father gave him an alto saxophone as a Christmas present and Clarence received music lessons. Over the years he switched to the baritone and finally to the tenor saxophone. In his youth, Clemons was an excellent football player and due to a serious car accident, his plans becoming a pro were annihilated. His first recording sessions took place in 1960 and one year later he joined his first band called „The Vibratones“ (until 1965). In the meantime Clarence Clemons has moved to Newark, New Jersey, where he also worked as a counselor for emotionally disturbed children at the Jamesburg Training School (from 1962 – 1970).

In September 1971, Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen met the very first time. Listen and watch, what Clarence is talking about this historic meeting:


Bruce Springsteen started in July 1972 to record his debut ebut album „Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.„. During recording breaks he also jammed with Clemons at some occasions and after that, he decided to use a tenor saxophone on the songs  „Blinded by the Light“ and „Spirit in the Night„. This was the start of a long cooperation and a deep friendship which holded on until Clemons‘ passing in 2011.


Clemons‘ final recordings are featured on the Springsteen album „Wrecking Ball„, which was released in 2012. On the 12th June 2011, Carence suffered a stroke and only six days later, on the 18th June, he died of complication from it at the age of 69 years.

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