Delbert McClinton was born Nov. 4, 1940, in Lubbock, Texas. He honed his craft working in a bar band, the Straitjackets, backing visiting blues giants such as Sonny Williamson, Howlin' Wolf, Lightnin' Hopkins and Jimmy Reed. He made his first recordings as a member of the Ron-Dels and was noted for his distinctive harmonica work on Bruce Channel's 1962 hit "Hey Baby." On a tour of the UK with Channel, McClinton met a young John Lennon and advised him on his harmonica technique, resulting in the sound heard on the Beatles hit "Love Me Do."
Relocating to Los Angeles in the early '70s, McClinton emerged in a partnership with fellow Texan Glen Clark, performing a combination of country and soul music. They achieved a degree of artistic success, releasing two albums before splitting, with McClinton embarking on a solo career. Emmylou Harris had a No. 1 hit in 1978 with his composition "Two More Bottles of Wine" in 1978, and McClinton's "B Movie Boxcar Blues" was used in the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers. His 1980 album, The Jealous Kind, contained his hit single, "Givin' It Up for Your Love."