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Clayton-Thomas performing at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, FL
David Clayton-Thomas (born David Henry Thomsett, 13 September, 1941) is a musician and singer.


Clayton-Thomas was born in Kingston upon Thamesmarker, Surreymarker, UKmarker, the son of a decorated Canadianmarker soldier of World War II who met his piano-playing mother when she came to entertain the troops at a Londonmarker hospital. They were married, and when the war ended, the family moved to Willowdale, Ontariomarker, a suburb of Torontomarker, when Clayton-Thomas was not yet school-aged.

Growing up, he was taught music by his mother but had difficulties in what was a dysfunctional family. He left home in his early teens. He idolized the music of John Lee Hooker and began playing guitar and singing, and by the time he was 21 had his own band, The Shays. David Clayton-Thomas & The Shays recorded for Roman Records of Toronto. Clayton-Thomas released two albums on the record label, "A Go Go" (with The Shays) and "Like It Is" (with The Bossmen).

In February 1966, he joined a new band, The Bossmen, fronted by the child prodigy, pianist Tony Collacott, who had played with Sarah Vaughan at New Yorkmarker's Carnegie Hallmarker at the age of 14. The group recorded a lone single, the jazz-rock song "Brainwashed," which was a Canadian hit record in June 1966 and gave an indication of his future work.

The band broke up soon afterward and he traveled to New Yorkmarker. In October 1967, he joined forces with former members of the Toronto R&B outfit, Jon and Lee & The Checkmates and renamed them his new backing band, The Phoenix. The group started a residency at a New York nightclub, Steve Paul's The Scene, but he was soon deported for working illegally in the Statesmarker.

In February 1968, Clayton-Thomas formed a new band in Toronto, the David Clayton-Thomas Combine with former Bossmen guitarist Jack Mowbrey, ex-Phoenix bass player Peter Hodgson, and drummer Pat Little from Luke & The Apostles. The group recorded the original version of his hit "Spinning Wheel" but the band broke up a few months later when Clayton-Thomas was offered a more attractive offer from Bobby Colomby, the drummer with Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Under the stage name David Clayton-Thomas, he is best known as a vocalist with the band Blood, Sweat & Tears, whose first album with him as lead singer in 1969 produced three gold single and three Grammy Awards including the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. The album included his own composition "Spinning Wheel" which became a hit on both sides of the Atlanticmarker.

In 2002, the album was honoured with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award. Clayton-Thomas left the band twice, but he was still touring with a reconstituted Blood, Sweat & Tears through 2004.

Clayton-Thomas was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1996. In January, 2006, the song "Spinning Wheel" was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

He also won the last Festival Internacional da Canção in 1972, in Rio de Janeiro, with the song Nobody Calls Me Prophet.

He lived in New York Citymarker for more than 30 years, but returned to Toronto in 2004, where he once again has made a name of himself as a solo artist, releasing several DVDs (including one featuring a live performance).


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