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Blind gospel and blues artist Clarence Fountain has died

An original member of the Blind Boys of Alabama, Clarence Fountain, 88 has passed away.  
Fountain branched off from the group for a while. In 1969 he ventured into a solo career. Initially managed by the late  Ray Charles, the Blind Boys of Alabama are credited with influencing early R&B.  

Never wanting to completely abandon his roots, Fountain later rejoined the group and toured with them until diabetes prevented him.  

Working with fellow Blind Boys' alumnus and mentee Sam Butler,  they released the album Stepping Up & Stepping Out, combining both gospel and secular on Tyscot Records in 2009. 

According to his manager, Charles Driebe Fountain died  in Baton Rouge, LA hospital on Sunday, June 3.

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