Clifford Curry is a true soul survivor, a veteran of more than 45 years in music. The Knoxville, TN, native joined the Echos while still attending Austin High School in Knoxville; The group cut two records as the renamed Five Pennies for Savoy Records ("Mr. Moon" and "My Heart Trembles" in 1955 and 1956 respectively) and also waxed unreleased sides for Herald Records before the group splintered in different directions. Curry and some other Knoxville musicians formed the Bingos, who cut a deal with Ernie Young's Excello Records. Excello issued the single on its Nasco subsidiary and renamed them the Hollyhocks. During this time Curry joined and backed Faye Adams on her number one R&B smash "Shake a Hand."
Returning to Knoxville Curry went solo as Sweet Clifford. Revisiting Excello Records, Young recorded four sides on Curry, messing up the first single by crediting "Things Got to Get Better" as Clifford Sweet. He hooked up with Knoxville crooners -- Luey & Duey Guy, Bob Adams, Jerry Johnson, and Wayne Cronin -- to form the Fabulous Six.
Curry tried his hand at songwriting with Knoxville DJ Rob Galbraith. The association with Galbraith bared fruit in 1967, not with one of their songs, but the Galbraith hookup with Buzz Carson enabled Curry to cut a song Carson held the rights to, entitled "She Shot a Whole in My Soul." Carson produced and issued the record on Elf Records, which was distributed by Bell Records. Seven more Elf singles followed (from 1967†1969), along with three each on SSS, Caprice, and Abbott Records spanning 1970 to 1973. Curry's success as an entertainer spread to the Carolina Beaches, where the baritone became a prime showman for their musical events and a solid purveyor of Beach music, which is anything you can shag to and look cool doing it.
The popular Beach entertainer then recorded with Buddah Records in 1977 that resulted in two singles: "Body Shop" and "Moving in Circles." In 1980, he cut his first tune with the word "shag" in it; "Shag With Me" trailed by "Lets Have a Party" came out on Woodshed Records, the last title dropping in 1982. Two DJ-only singles for CC Records followed and then singles on Ripete and Compleat took him through 1985. Clifford still reigns as an entertainer of note and keeps busy. He never stopped recording; releasing music, contributing backing vocals on others albums, and doing commercials. Collectables Records outdid themselves in 1995 by releasing a 20-song compilation CD of Curry's recordings, many from the numerous one-off labels he recorded for; Alpaloosa Records issued Clifford's Blues: The Provider in 1996.
The Knoxville native now lives in Nashville, TN and is not to be confused with the Clifford Curry who sang with the Notations or the Clifford Curry who blew some notes with the Los Angeles-based Sly, Slick & Wicked. Curry was inducted into the Beach Music Hall of Fame in 1995.