House of blues

A forgotten rock and roll pioneer fights to keep his Oak Cliff home

McQuater left The Clovers in 1962, two years after Harold Lucas and Buddy Bailey splintered The Clovers into two groups--neither of which went anywhere. He went to work for the United States Postal Service, then returned to Dallas in 1972 to care for his ailing mother, who requested her son come home so they could spend her few remaining years together.

The last time the original Clovers performed on the same stage was in 1988, at the first Rhythm and Blues Foundation concert in Austin that also featured the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Sam Moore, Ruth Brown, Bonnie Raitt, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. It was a bittersweet event for the R&B greats who attended: They were there to celebrate the creation of a foundation whose sole purpose was to provide financial assistance to performers who were ripped off by their record companies.

McQuater insists he doesn't miss the spotlight, doesn't begrudge anyone the money he should have been paid then and now. He's content to sing in the Warren United Methodist church choir every Sunday, alongside his wife, while the two wait to see if they will have a house come Thanksgiving.

"You never lose the feeling for contact with an audience, but I don't long for it because I sing in the choir in church," McQuater says, "and they put me in right with the rest of the tenors and I sing along with 'em. I even get to sing a solo sometime, which I never got to do in The Clovers.

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help