b. Clarence Pauling, 19th March 1928, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.A.
d. 6th May 1995, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
He was born into a musical background with his brother also being a singer.
His father, Lowman, had his own quartet, which became an additional musical influence.
Clarence began singing gospel music in North Carolina churches with his brother Lowman Pauling, with whom he formed the Royal Sons.
After Clarence left, the group later became the Five Royales (the number one R & B hit 'Baby Don't Do It,' the double-sided hit 'Help Me Somebody,' number one R & B) b / w 'Crazy, Crazy, Crazy,' number five R & B).
The group recorded the original version of the pop hit 'Dedicated To The One I Love'.
During the '50's, Pauling sang with the gospel groups the Coleman Brothers and Wings Over Jordan.
In 1950 he was drafted into the forces and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
When his stint was over, he returned to the States and began recording non spiritual sides for various record labels including Federal, Roulette, and Hannover.
To avoid confusion with his brother who had also began recording secular songs, he shorted his name to Clarence Paul.
Some his releases includes the single 'I'm in Love Again' and 'Operation Breadbasket' (by Clarence Paul and the Members on Chi-Sound).
Becoming a songwriter, Paul co-wrote 'I Need Your Lovin' with Will Jennings and Ardra Woods, a 1959 number 14 R & B hit for singer Roy Hamilton.
Relocating to Detroit, Michigan, in the early '60's, Paul met a pre-stardom Stevie Wonder (he was still only known as Steveland Morris).
Clarence came up with the 'Wonder' surname, when Stevie was 10 years old, stating that 'We can't keep introducing him as the '8th Wonder Of The World'.
Those close to their relationship say that Paul and Wonder were like father and son and later when Wonder began having hits, he'd accompany him on tour.
He would teach Wonder vocal techniques and standards like 'Masquerade.'
Clarence told his daughter, Alexis, in later years, that these were some of the happiest times during his lifetime.
Paul was made a Motown staff producer / songwriter and assisted A & R head Mickey Stevenson.
The duo produced 13-year-old Stevie Wonder's first single, 'Thank You (For Loving Me All the Way'), an ode to his mother in November 1962.
The hit 'Fingertips, Pt. 2' (written by Paul and the late Henry 'Hank' Cosby) originally on his LP 'The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie Wonder' held the number one R & B spot for six weeks and the number one pop spot for three weeks on Billboard's charts in summer 1963.
More Paul / Wonder hits are the number nine R & B hit 'Hey Love' (Wonder / Paul / Morris Broadnax) later a 1992 pop hit for R. Kelly and 'Wondering' (Paul / Joey Di Benedetto).
Stevenson and Paul produced and co-wrote 'Hitch Hike' with Marvin Gaye, a number 12 R & B hit in early 1963, as well as Gaye's double-sided hit with Mary Wells, 'What's the Matter With You Baby' b / w 'Once Upon a Time' (Paul / Stevenson / Barney Ales / Dave Hamilton).
Hits for Martha Reeves and the Vandellas were 'You've Been in Love Too Long' (Paul / Stevenson / Ivy Hunter) and the charting B-side of their hit 'Love (Makes Me Do Foolish Things).'
Stevie Wonder would often rearrange non-Motown songs, particularly those of singer / songwriter Bob Dylan.
Choosing Dylan's 'Blowin' in the Wind,' he and Paul collaborated on the track with Paul being heard giving urging vocal riffs.
Motown was skeptical about the success of the track, but due in part to Paul's lobbying efforts it was released.
'Blowin' in the Wind' went to number one R & B, number nine pop in summer 1966.
On the flip side of 'Blowin...' was the B-side 'Aint That Asking for Trouble'.
Another key Paul / Wonder track was 'I'm Wondering,' a number four R & B hit from fall 1967.
One unreleased treasure, maybe a 1963 recording, called 'Monkey Talk' that's described as a Ramsey Lewis-type jam (similar to Lewis' cover of Dobie Gray's 'The in Crowd' that features Paul, Wonder, arranger Johnny Allen, and Motown pianist Earl Van Dyke.
'Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Going to Do)' (Wonder / Paul / Broadnax) was originally recorded by Wonder in 1967 but wasn't released until it was included on his 1976 three-record greatest-hits set 'Anthology'.
Some believe co-writer Morris Broadnax may have played the song for Aretha Franklin in 1967.
Wonder played her the song in 1973. Her version of 'Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Going Do)' went gold, hitting number one R & B, number three pop in early 1974.
Wonder, Paul, and Broadnax also co-wrote 'Just a Little Misunderstanding,' a 1966 hit for the Contours.
Paul continued to nurture young, developing talent at Motown, including singer / songwriter Ronnie McNeir (his 1976 LP 'Love's Comin' Down').
During the late '70's, Paul left Motown to become A & R head of Mickey Stevenson's newly launched Venture Records.
In fact, Clarence was freelance since 1972.
On 6th May, 1995, Clarence Paul died after a short illness in Los Angeles with Stevie Wonder at his bedside.
His body was returned to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where it was buried next to the body of his brother Lowman.
...why not take a listen to an interview that Clarence recorded with his daughter, Alexis, on 28th December 1990, and made available by the kind permission of Alexis Pauling and her family, right here.