Hollimon worked as a session guitarist for Duke/Peacock Records as a high school student, and he played with a prestigious list of artists including Bobby Bland, Junior Parker, Big Mama Thornton, Charles Brown, O.V. Wright, Joe Hinton, Dionne Warwick, Buddy Ace, the original Jazz Crusaders and many other stars from the 1950's through the 1990's. I first heard him on several recordings for Black Top Records during the late 1980's, beginning with Grady Gaines' first release, Full Gain, which also featured another great Texas guitarist, Grady's brother Roy Gaines. That album is still one of my favorites and still gets regular play around the house, mainly because of the fantastic guitar work from Hollimon and Gaines.
|Carol Fran and Clarence Hollimon|
Hollimon was known as "Gristle" for many years, but no one ever really knew how he came about that nickname. Some figured it was because of his thin, wiry build, but no one knows for sure. He was also known as one of the nicest and most humble musicians in the Houston area. Singers loved to work for him because he never overplayed or showboated. He played just what needed to be played and man, did he play it well. Sadly, Hollimon died in 2000, just after he and Fran finished recording It's About Time for JSP Records. He was only 62 years old. Fran, now 85, has continued to work and record a couple of albums, even recovering from a stroke several years ago to return to performing.