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Clarence Clemons
Clarence ClemonsInducted 2007
Rock/R & B

Born: January 11, 194
Died: June 18, 2011

Clarence “Big Man” Clemons was once voted “Favorite Band Member” for his mesmerizing vocals and distinctive saxophone solos in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Clemons and Springsteen – Springsteen and Clemons – the two are simply magic together and, while each man tells a slightly different tale of how they met, each version bears elements of the inevitable – the two were meant to make music together. They are also known for their banter on stage.

Clemons was born in Norfolk County (now the city of Chesapeake), Virginia, the grandson of a Baptist preacher, and raised on Gospel music – music that reaches the soul. He attended the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore on a football scholarship before leaving school to play with the pros. A serious automobile accident as he was preparing to try out for a position with the Cleveland Browns cut short his hopes of a professional sports career and unleashed a musician. He had been playing the saxophone since his father made him a gift of the instrument when Clemons was a child.

Clemons has worked with such luminaries as Ringo Starr, Jackson Browne, Gary U. S. Bonds, Joe Cocker and Aretha Franklin; and has produced several projects of his own. He joined Bruce Springsteen’s band in 1972. While continuing to play with Springsteen, Clemons formed the Clarence Clemons Band (now called the Temple of Soul) in 1998, releasing Live in Asbury Park and Live in Asbury Park Volume Two in 2002 and 2004. Asbury Park, incidentally, was the location of the Student Prince Club where Clemons went to hear Springsteen perform and where the two first met. The rest, as they say, is history.