National Treasure #172: David Clayton-Thomas

What goes up, must come down.
Spinning wheel, got to go round.

The son of a decorated WWII Canadian soldier and a British woman, David Clayton-Thomas was sleeping in parked cars and abandoned buildings by the time he was 14. A previous inmate of a reformatory left a guitar that Clayton-Thomas picked up, and the rest is history:

  • 10 million – copies of Blood, Sweat & Tears, the eponymous album, sold worldwide
  • 5 – Grammy Awards the same album won
  • 13 – weeks the same album spent at No. 1 on the Billboard top album chart
  • 13 – solo albums between 1972 and 2016
  • 4 – halls/walks of fame he’s on (Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Canada’s Walk of Fame)
  • 50/50 – odds he was given he’d survive heart surgery, in 2010

I ain’t scared of dyin’ and I don’t really care.
If it’s peace you find by dyin’, well then, let the time be near.

But he didn’t die, and at 76 he’s still writing and performing.


When I Die

Spinning Wheel

You’ve Made Me So Very Happy



The Canadian Encyclopedia


Edmonton Journal – Sep 2017 article


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