Born Albert Clemens in 1887 in Kingsport, Tennessee, Clarence Lofton was one of a group of piano players who, in the first decades of the 20th century, developed the 'boogie woogie' style of playing, along with others such as Cow Cow Davenport and Will Ezell, and also with Jimmy Yancey with whom he recorded. He developed his piano skills as a teenager in medicine shows and bars around Memphis and the Mississippi delta area before moving to Chicago in 1921. He was born with a weakness in his leg which gave him a limp and hence his nickname. However he was not restricted physically by his disability and he developed a stage act as a 'piano pounder' that involved him dancing whilst standing playing the piano. In fact he was originally hired on the medicine shows as a tap dancer and general entertainer. He was a great success in Chicago and in 1932 he opened his own club there. In the ensuing two decades Lofton made prolific recording for various labels, and remained in Chicago until his death from a stroke in 1957.

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