Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, New Orleans R&B singer of ‘Ain’t Got No Home,’ dies.

New Orleans — Clarence “Frogman” Henry, a famous New Orleans R&B singer who had a hit with “Ain’t Got No Home” at 19, died. He was 87. New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation shared on social media that Henry died Sunday night. No cause of death was given.  

Henry impersonated a frog in “Ain't Got No Home.” He was set to appear at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival later this month. The 1956 song was eventually featured on the “Forrest Gump” and “Mickey Blue Eyes” soundtracks, reintroducing Henry to stardom.  

He attributed radio jockey Poppa Stoppa, whose real name was Clarence Hayman, with coining the “Frogman,” a play on Fats Domino’s “Fatman.” Henry began performing in Bourbon Street nightclubs in 1958 as his popularity declined.  

I expected sunshine. I thought my record would always be on top, but in 1958, the rain brought me back to New Orleans, Henry told The Associated Press in 2003. The 1960 song “I Don’t Know Why But I Do” by Bobby Charles and Allen Toussaint revived Henry's career.  

He opened for the Beatles on 18 nights in 1964 during their first U.S. tour with the Bill Black Combo and the Jive Five and traveled extensively from Scotland to New Zealand. Henry was popular in Louisiana. He was one of the few black New Orleans artists to play Cajun.  

Henry, born in New Orleans on March 19, 1937, began piano lessons aged 8 after his sister detested them. He did unpaid work for his father till he was 15. He played trombone and piano in high school and joined The Toppers, touring southern Louisiana before becoming famous.  

“When I was in school, I wanted to be Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, and I would wear a wig with two plaits and call myself Professor Longhair,” Henry told the AP. “I like the Fats Domino rhythm, but I play my own chords and style.”  

Henry lost national fame but remained popular in Louisiana. He played Bourbon Street until 1981, when he quit the tough club circuit. He kept performing and was a perennial favorite at the Jazz & Heritage Festival. Funeral arrangements are pending at Murray Henderson Funeral Home.  

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