The man who made the novelty song “Baby Sittin’ Boogie” famous – Buzz Clifford died January 26 as a result of complications from the flu at the age of 76.
Clifford had a hit with the song in 1960 that went on to sell over a million copies.
He was born Reese Clifford III in Berwyn, Illinois. After learning to play the guitar as a child, he entered and won talent shows. Bow Records signed him to a contract when he was only 15 years old but Clifford failed to chart either of his two single releases – “14 Karat Fool” and “Pididdle (The Car with One Light)”.
In 1960 he signed with Columbia Records and again failed to reach success with his next single “Blue Lagoon”. He finally found success with “Baby Sittin’ Boogie” when the song reached number six on the Hot 100. The song also reached the top 30 on the Country and R&B music charts. Failing to reach the music charts again, Clifford became a “one hit wonder”.
He left music for a time and served in the U.S. National Guard.
After being discharged from the service, Clifford turned his hand to songwriting where he again found success on the music charts for his compositions. Keith Barbour, Petula Clark, Clyde McPhatter, Lou Rawls, Leon Russell, and Kris Kristofferson all recorded songs penned by Clifford.
Turning his hand once again to performing, Clifford joined the band Carp and later Hamilton Streetcar.
Clifford, along with his sons and David Marks continued to tour for a number of years.
Buzz Clifford discography:
“Baby Sittin’ with Buzz”
“See our Way Clear”
“More than Just Babysittin’”
“Buzz for Sale”
“Bright Lights Shine”