Blowfly Has Terminal Cancer

UPDATE: Blowfly passed away today, according to the following note on his Facebook page, less than a week after entering hospice care for terminal liver cancer and multiple organ failure. He was 76.

Clarence Reid, the genius known both by his given name and as Blowfly, the Master of Class, passed peacefully today, January 17th, in his hospice room.

His sister Virginia and I thank you for all the love you have shown this week. We also thank you for supporting Clarence’s 50 + year music career — especially these last few years. We love you and will keep you informed on services and tribute performances in Clarence’s honor.
Nothing But Love,
Tom Bowker


Earlier this week, liver cancer claimed the life of David Bowie. Now, it’s getting ready to rob us of a very different musical visionary. Clarence Reid, under his Blowfly alias, has been making ribald, X-rated comedy-soul records since 1971. He originally adapted his low-rent masked-supervillain persona so that he wouldn’t endanger his career as a studio songwriter and producer. But he quickly turned the Blowfly persona into an institution, releasing a head-spinning number of records and touring and recording well into his 70s. Blowfly’s new album 77 Rusty Trombones is out next month. But according to a note on his Facebook page, he has terminal liver cancer, and he’s going into hospice care today. Blowfly has had a great run, but it’s sad to think we’ll be losing another larger-than-life figure who never carried himself like a mere human. Here’s the note on his Facebook:

Dear Blowfly and Clarence Reid fans. It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that Clarence has Terminal Liver cancer and multiple organ failure. He entered hospice care today.

Thank you so much to everyone who saved his house in 2014 and kept his last days comfortable. As a reward for that good deed, Blowfly has gifted us a final album, entitled 77 Rusty Trombones which comes out in February. It is easily his best album since the early 80s, and a fitting epitaph for one of the great performers of all time.

It has been an honor to reintroduce Blowfly (and Clarence) to the world via recordings, movies and the stage over the last dozen years. The last three have been particularly enjoyable, as we had a wonderful band featuring Billy Morales on guitar and Shaun Dickerson on bass who in addition to being fantastic musicians, completely understood what we were doing, and why we were doing it. Thank you for supporting our efforts.

If you would like to express your love and admiration to Blowfly, you may send cards/letters/photos/art to him via mail at:

Florida Medical Center ATTN: Patient Clarence Reid Room 355. 5000 Oakland Park Boulevard, Lauderdale Lakes, Florida 33133.

Clarence has always been a visual person and photos/art would be most appreciated. Clarence also was interested in having a full list of every sample that’s been done on songs he wrote and performed. If you’re up for taking a run at that, you may message me here on this page.

Please know that Clarence is being made comfortable and that his sister Virginia has stood tall for him, and taken care of her brother as best as humanly possible. Please say a prayer for her and for Clarence Reid, the Maestro of the Miami Sound who loved being Blowfly – the King of the Freaks.

Tom Bowker
Blowfly Music

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