Schoolboy Cleve was
born to sing the blues born on June 10, 1925 in East Baton Rouge Parish,
Louisiana according to his military records; one of nine children.
Schoolboy Cleve out
of Louisiana was most noticed for playing the Blues Harmonica (Horner).
His style was of a "Swamp Blues" rock and roll nature with that
foot patting back and forth southern Down Home Blues sound; it's awesome!
If you can't rock with "Cleve" you can't rock!
Schoolboy Cleve got
the name "Schoolboy Cleve" when he was a young child when musicians
would come to town he would ask to play with them. When they would return
to town they would ask "where is that little school boy;" because,
he look so young. He learned how to play the harmonica from the legendary
"Sonny Boy Williamson" and was fascinated by the way he kept
time with his big feet when playing music. Schoolboy Cleve played around
town in Louisiana all over New Orleans scene, Mississippi, Alabama, and
Texas. He could play the guitar, harmonica, footboard, all at the same
time, a one man band as such, as a personal note he could play just about
any instrument piano and others.
first big break came. in 1954-55 when he recorded with the legendary
"Lightnin' Slim" (Blues Guitar) in Crowley, Louisiana.
studio. Together they recorded on Feature Records label a number
of songs of which two were "Bad Feeling Blues" and "Lightnin'
Slim Boogie" formerly "Schoolboy Cleve Boogie" Cleve
said it's his song but Lightnin' liked the song so much it was named
after Lightnin'. Cleve and Lightnin' Slim often shared materials
of and with one another. They also recorded songs like "Ethel
Mae", "Strange Letter Blues", "She's Gone",
"I'm Him" ("Big Fat Mama" was the original name),
and others. As best I can tell the story of the business end, Feature
Records label was the original owner JD Miller, made a deal which
resulted in Lightnin' to Excello Records label and Schoolboy Cleve
to ACE Records label owner Mr. Johnny Vincent. During this time
in 1957 "Beautiful, Beautiful love" and "My Baby
Done Gone" were recorded. Schoolboy Cleve soon moved to California
in 1960’s. With music in his blood, Schoolboy Cleve met KPOO
-DJ, Mr. Tom Mazzolini performed the first San Francisco Bay Area
Blues Festival, Ron Stewart Bay Area Blues Society Oakland, with
1986 Grammy Nominee Ron Thompson and recorded 1972 "My Heart
Is Crying" Blues on Connoisseur Records.