Clarence “Frogman” Henry | Rhythm and blues artist known for “Ain't Got No Home” dies aged 87

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Known for his singles “Ain’t Got No Home” and “(I Don’t Know Why) But I Do,” American singer and pianist Clarence “Frogman” Henry has died aged 87.

Esteemed New Orleans singer Clarence “Frogman” Henry, known as much for his distinctive croak in his voice as and his hit “Ain’t Got No Home,” has died aged 87, his family have confirmed.

Henry’s death was confirmed in a statement by his family to New Orleans’ CBS affiliate 4WWL on April 8 2024, a day after his passing, however, no cause of death has been confirmed as of yet. However, Henry’s health had been declining for several years and he’d recently undergone an unspecified surgery, according to Rolling Stone.

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Born in New Orleans on March 19, 1937, Henry's musical journey began in the Algiers neighbourhood, where he moved in 1948 and continued to live for the rest of his life. Inspired by legends such as Fats Domino and Professor Longhair, Henry honed his skills in piano and trombone from a young age, often emulating Longhair's style in talent shows complete with a distinctive wig.

Henry's music career took a pivotal turn in 1955 when his unique croak, showcased in the improvisation of "Ain't Got No Home," caught the attention of Chess Records. This led to the recording of the song in Cosimo Matassa's studio in 1956, propelling Henry to national fame as the song climbed the charts. Known for his "Frogman" nickname, Henry enjoyed success with other hits such as "(I Don't Know Why) But I Do" and "You Always Hurt the One You Love" in the early 1960s. 

Despite the peak of his fame, Henry's enduring presence on the New Orleans Bourbon Street strip, where he performed for nineteen years, remained a significant aspect of his career.

Henry's influence extended beyond his performances, touching the lives of audiences through covers and reuses of his hits by various artists. His songs found their way into films, commercials, and even other musicians' works, showcasing the enduring appeal of his music. Notably, Henry's "Ain't Got No Home" was featured in the soundtrack of the 1982 film “Diner” and covered by The Band in 1973, demonstrating the song's lasting cultural impact.

His induction into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in April 2007 and recognition by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame underlined the significant impact of his pioneering contributions to music

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