born in 1935
Rudy Clark (born Rudolph Clark, 1935) is an American songwriter about whom little biographical information seems to be known. Supposedly a former mail carrier hailing from New York City, he was most active from the early 1960s through the early 1970s. He wrote songs for James Ray (and indeed may have discovered the singer), including Ray's moody 1962 R&B and regional pop hit "If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody", later a hit for Freddie and the Dreamers, as well as "Got My Mind Set On You", which became a No. 1 US and No. 2 UK hit for George Harrison in 1987. Few people know "Got My Mind Set On You" was a No. 1 hit in 18 countries in the same year. Clark was a close friend of Bobby Darin, who owned TM Music/Trio, the music company that employed Clark. Clark and Darin collaborated on several hits including "Do the Monkey."
Clark then wrote the Top Ten soul classic "It's in His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song)", recorded by Betty Everett in 1964, which would be frequently revisited by other artists (most notably in the version that became a worldwide hit for Cher in 1991) in subsequent years. Clark co-wrote "Good Lovin'", recorded by The Olympics in 1965 and then remade as a #1 hit by The Young Rascals the following year. Other Clark compositions include "If You Got to Make a Fool of Somebody", recorded by Barbara Mason, and "Fool, Fool, Fool", recorded in 1964 by Little Joey & the Flips and then covered by Roosevelt Grier, the A-Cads, and Ray Brown & The Whispers, with the last two representations reaching #1 in South Africa and Australia respectively. Her song "Waddle, Waddle" featured in the film "Hairspray".
Clark was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song for his lead contribution in writing the 1972 Top Five hit "Everybody Plays the Fool" by The Main Ingredient. Beyond pop hits, Clark wrote several songs for the early 1970s Harlem Globetrotters cartoon series.
Besides being heard on oldies radio, Clark's material has also found its way to the Broadway theatre, making reference to André DeShields' Haarlem Nocturne (1984) and Marion J. Caffey's Street Corner Symphony (1997).
- Internet Broadway Database
- Al DiOrio, "Bobby Darin: The Incredible Story of an Amazing Life", p. 135 (2004) (Google Books excerpt)
- Michael Starr, "Bobby Darin: A Life", pp. 127-29 (2004) (Google Books excerpt; includes interview of Clark)
- Rudy Clark at the Internet Movie Database