Blowfly, whom NPR called “Black Music’s Filthiest Legend,” passed away three years ago today. Born on Valentine’s Day 1939, Clarence Henry Reid was an American musician, songwriter and producer, using stage name and alternate persona Blowfly to protect his career as a songwriter and producer. During the 1960s and 1970s he wrote for and produced artists like Betty Wright, Sam & Dave, Gwen McCrae, Jimmy “Bo” Horne, Bobby Byrd, and KC & the Sunshine Band.
He wrote and performed “dirty” versions of hit songs for his friends, but also released a number of albums that were party favorites. Much of his music has been sampled by Beyonce, Wu Tang Clan, DJ Quik, DMX, Method Man & Redman, Main Source, DJ Shadow, Eazy-E, RJD2, Jurassic 5, Big Daddy Kane, Mary J. Blige, Brand Nubian, and the Avalanches.
The New York Times elaborates:
Mr. Reid led a sort of musical double life beginning in the mid-1960s. Under his birth name he was a mildly successful singer — one of his songs, “Nobody but You Babe,” went to No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 — and a well-known songwriter and producer on Miami’s rich soul scene.
But as Blowfly he released more than two dozen albums — highlights include “Porno Freak,” “Blowfly’s Party” and “Blowfly for President” — tapping a seemingly bottomless well of juvenilia (and assorted other ilias, too).
It’s difficult to decide what menu to offer in celebration of a man famed for costumes and naughty songs, but upon due consideration, we suggest this:
- 1 unbaked pie crust (9 inch)
- 3 eggs, beaten
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼teaspoon salt
- 1 egg white
- 2 ½ cups scalded milk
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 drops of whatever food color you want (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
- Mix together eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Stir well. Blend in the scalded milk. For more yellow color, add few drops yellow food coloring.
- Line pie pan with pastry, and brush inside bottom and sides of shell with egg white to help prevent a soggy crust. Pour custard mixture into piecrust. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on rack.
Want to learn more about Blowfly? Of course you do!
- Clarence Reid, R&B Singer Known as Blowfly, Dead at 76
- Clarence Reid, Singer and Songwriter Also Known as Blowfly, Dies at 76
- Remembering Blowfly, Black Music’s Filthiest Legend