Blues for James

Local jazzer James Clay leaves remarkable legacy

Clay returned to Dallas but, because of that record, he was offered the chance to records his own album as front man; released in 1961, A Double Dose of Blues, was a remarkable record filled with sweet, wrenching blues played on horn and flute.

For a decade, on and off since the mid-'60s, Clay would perform with Ray Charles, in Los Angeles and New York, and quit just as the money was becoming good. Clay returned home once more--to the solitude afforded by anonymity and family, a life he craved more than any other. "I don't have any regrets about coming back," Clay said in 1992. "First of all, I don't like New York."

Clay hadn't recorded since 1991, for Cookin' at the Continental, but he was scheduled to record an album--with strings--for Mark Elliott's Leaning House Records this spring.

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