1969 Clarence Carter – Too Weak To Fight
Clarence Carter was blind at birth. He grew up in Alabama, attending the Alabama School for the Blind and state colleges. He eventually earned a Bachelor of Science degree as a music major. He began playing guitar and singing blues music in a duo with Calvin Scott. They recorded for the Fairlane label in 1960 as Clarence & Calvin, but did not reach the chart with their first singles. Four singles as the C&C boys on Duke Records also failed to chart. They began playing in clubs in the Birmingham area and recorded for Atlantic Records.
When Calvin suffered serious injuries in an automobile accident, Clarence began a solo career on the Fame label. He wrote and released Tell Daddy, which reached #35 on the R&B chart in 1967.
The next year Clarence returned to Atlantic Records. His second single for the label was Slip Away, which reached #6 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart in early 1968.
Clarence co-wrote his next single with his long-time producer (Rich Hall) and two other songwriters. Too Weak To Fight peaked at only #13 on the Hot 100 but made it to #3 on the R&B chart.
During the next two years, Clarence had four more top ten singles on the R&B chart, but only reached the top forty on the pop charts with one single that stalled at #31.
General Johnson sang lead for the group Chairmen of the Board. The group had a #3 hit with Give Me Just A Little More Time in early 1970. General and Ron Dunbar wrote the song Patches, and the group included as an album cut.
Clarence heard the song and decided that he would record it with a few changes. Rich produced the single, which became Clarence’s biggest hit. The record reached #4 on the Hot 100 in 1970.
Clarence recorded dozens of albums and released countless singles. He had a few more singles that reached the R&B chart through 1973, but never again reached the Hot 100 top forty. His last single was Strokin’. The song came out in 1988 but got banned by most radio stations because of its content. I probably only heard it because I was living in Chicago at the time.
Clarence released his most recent album in 2020 and continues to appear live in concerts.
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