Samuel McClain was born in Monroe, Louisiana in 1943 and grew up singing in his mother's Gospel Church. McClain left home when he was 13 and followed local R&B guitarist, Little Melvin Underwood through the chitlin’ circuit and became lead vocalist at the age of 15.
In 1966, McClain recorded a version of Patsy Cline’s "Sweet Dreams”. Several recording sessions at Muscle Shoals produced the further singles, "Fannie-May" and "In the Same Old Way”. In 1989, McClain toured and recorded in Japan. His album "Live in Japan," featured Wayne Bennett. In the early 1990s, McClain participated in the "Hubert Sumlin Blues Party" project. His releases "Give It Up To Love" and "Keep On Movin’ " were successful.
In 1996, McClain formed McClain Productions and formed his own record label, Mighty Music, which released "One More Bridge To Cross" in February 2003. "Betcha Didn't Know" was issued in July 2009 and nominated by the Blues Association as 'Soul/Blues Album 2010'.
In 2008, McClain joined the 'Give US Your Poor' project, benefiting the homeless.
In early 2009, McClain recorded an album of duets, with Iranian Mahsa Vahdat. He and Knut Reiersrud, collaborated on One Drop is Plenty recorded in Norway in January 2011.
McClain sang the theme song for the film, Time and Charges, titled "Find the Sun”. In 2012, McClain recorded "Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey)”and the song was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the 'Best Song' category. In 2014 McClain was featured on the compilation album "Songs from a Stolen Spring."
McClain suffered a stroke and died on June 15, 2015. In his memory, his wife, Sandra McClain, reached out to us and donated memorabilia to the museum which honors the life, artistry and work of Samuel “Mighty Sam” McClain. We thank Sandra McClain for her gracious donation to the museum.