Saustex Media Announces the Legendary Blowfly’s Final Album ’77 Rusty Trombones’ – Out February 19th

77 Rusty Trombones is the final studio album by legendary and influential Miami singer, songwriter and producer Clarence Reid aka Blowfly, the original nasty rapper. Although it was supposed to be his last album as Blowfly, it wasn’t supposed to be the end of Clarence Reid. Unfortunately, multiple hospitalizations and testing at the end of 2015/beginning of 2016 revealed he had terminal liver cancer and Reid passed away on January 17th, 2016. Our condolences go out to his family and friends – he was a true musical treasure (if under-appreciated and recognized until his death). Saustex Records and Clarence’s longtime manager/drummer Tom Bowker to headline the label’s 2016 SXSW Showcase in Austin when the unfortunate news developed. When news of his illness and subsequent death made the rounds, outlets including NPR, CBC, Rolling Stone, SPIN, the Guardian and New York Times all published extensive pieces on Reid.

Reid had a career spanning 50 years that saw him pen songs for Betty Wright, K.C. & The Sunshine Band and Bobby Byrd, among others. His influence is huge: Artists like Snoop Dogg, Too $hort, The Wu Tang Clan, Public Enemy, Kool Keith, Del The Funky Homosapien and Atmosphere have all cited Blowfly as a major influence on their work. Countless more, including Beyonce, The Jurassic 5 and DMX have sampled Reid for their hits.

The new album is a return to the form of his classic releases including The Weird World of Blowfly that heavily parodied R&B hits.77 Rusty Trombones features the standout tracks “If You Don’t Blow Me By Now” and “She’s Got  A Weiner” that harken back to Clarence’s soul roots and are infused with his trademark humor. XXX – Adults only! Available on CD and LP here: http://www.saustex.com/BLOWFLY.html

Reid led a dual musical life as a soul singer, producer and songwriter who innovated the “Miami Sound” of the late ’60s and ’70s; he also pioneered hip hop via his X-rated alter-ego “Blowfly“. Reid changed the shape of music twice. After releasing a string of modestly successful soul 45s between 1963 and1966 under his own name, including releases on Nashville’s Dial Records and New York City’s Wand/Scepter, Reid began to find his groove in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood, as the staff songwriter for Johnny Pearsall and Willie Clarke’s Deep City Records. In addition to writing and producing songs for himself, Reid did the same for a variety of Miami singers, including Helene Smith and Paul Kelly. Reid’s life changed forever in 1966 when a then-12 year oldBetty Wright walked into Johnny’s Record Shop, which doubled as Deep City’s headquarters, and sang along to a song playing in the store. Reid heard her, and the next year Deep City released a Reid/Clarke penned-single: “Good Lovin” b/w “Paralyzed.” One year after that, Reid brought Ms. Wright to Henry Stone’s & Steve Alaimo’s Alston label and with Clarke, wrote and produced her first smash hit: “Girls Can’t Do What the Boys Do.” Four years later, the trio paired up for Ms. Wright’s signature classic: “Clean Up Woman.” It was a million-selling, worldwide smash that peaked at #2 on Billboard’s R&B chart.

Reid became the staff songwriter at Stone & Alaimo’s TK label family, and wrote the bulk of his 43 charting Billboard hits there. Those hits included Gwen McCrae’s “Rocking Chair” which topped the R&B chart in 1974, and his own “Nobody But You Babe” which hit #7 in 1969. Reid mentored and wrote songs for nearly every artist on TK, including KC & The Sunshine Band. Their singer, Harry Wayne “KC” Casey, first heard Junkanoo music at Reid’s wedding – which was performed by Reid’s father-in-law’s band – “The Sunshine Junkanoo Band.” As TK Records and its subsidiaries grew into the world’s biggest independent record label in the 1970s, Reid’s highly influential amalgamation of southern soul, funk and Caribbean music became known worldwide as “The Miami Sound.”

While busy making his fellow Alston & TK artists famous, Reid found a personal creative outlet via his character Blowfly. Blowfly dated back to his early childhood on sharecropping farms in his birthplace of Vienna, Georgia and neighboring Cochran. After Reid’s father, Dock, died in World War II, young Clarence was forced to leave school and work the farm. As a means of revenge, he wrote sexually perverted parodies of his favorite country songs from The Grand Ole Opry radio show. The bosses on the farm loved the nasty songs young Reid sang, and would pay him more to sing for 15 minutes than he typically earned in a week of hard labor. When his grandmother learned how he earned the money, she declared that Clarence was “a disgrace” and “no better than a Blowfly.” After being told by a playmate that “without blowflies, the world would be consumed by germs,” Reid held his alter ego dear. He used it both as a means to earn money, and a way to meet famous R&B performers, who delighted in hearing their tunes sung with Reid’s dirty words.

In 1971, Stone heard Reid plunking a dirty Otis Redding parody on the piano in his office, and ordered him into the studio. The result, a hilarious LP entitled The Weird World of Blowfly was an instant hit. X-rated “party records” by the likes of Redd Foxx and Rudy Ray Moore were in vogue, so Blowfly cranked out 12 more albums until TK went bankrupt in 1982 amid the sudden death of disco music.

As his Blowfly records grew in popularity, Reid began to incorporate “soul talking” – despite the protestations of Stone. 1977’s Disco earned Reid a lawsuit from Stanley Adams, then the president of ASCAP, for turning his “What a Difference a Day Makes” into “What a Difference a Lay Makes.”Disco also featured a song entitled “Shake Your ass” which features a rapped introduction, and has a cadence, rapped on the beat, that would pass for hip hop in 2016.

In 1980, Stone suddenly changed his stance on Blowfly‘s rap songs after the success of The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” Instead of burying Reid’s signature Blowfly song “Rap Dirty” aka “Blowfly’s Rapp” – Stone promoted it and released it on two albums and two singles. The burgeoning hip hop scene latched on to “Rap Dirty.” The song featured a narrative about battling a KKK Grand Wizard that was far more advanced than other raps of the day.

In 2005, after a six-year absence from recording, Blowfly released Fahrenheit 69 on Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles label. This began a five-year spree that saw the release of three albums and 300 touring dates. In 2011, The Weird World of Blowfly, a documentary about his career filmed during his 2008 world tour was released. Interest in the movie reinvigorated Blowfly’s career.

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