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Clarence Eugene Barron Biography: Family, Career, Songs, and Death

Sir Guy Clarence Eugene Barron


Sir Guy was born Clarence Eugene Barron on October 16, 1946 in Norfolk, Virginia to Thelma Barron Cartwright and James Norfleet, Sr; raised by mother and stepfather, William “Bro. Bear” Cartwright in the city’s segregated Berkley-Campostella section. Leonard Barron, Harold Barron, James Norfleet, Jr., and Charles Cartwright were his four brothers, and he had eight sisters, Thelma Barron, Bernice Barron, Brenda Barron, Gracie Cartwright, Joyce Cartwright, Patricia Cartwright, Louise Norfleet, and Lillian Norfleet McCleese.

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Sir Guy’s formal education began in 1952 at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, where he was a member of the band and played trumpet under the direction of Carl W. Clark. He also sang in Saint Mark’s Baptist Church’s Gospel Choir.


Sir Guy was invited as the lead tenor of the local a capella doo-wop ensemble The Visions (Earl Gordon, Robert White, Michael Smith, Harold Barron, Clayton Miller, Rizwell Finney) at the age of 14 in 1960. He stayed with the group, which primarily performed R&B covers, for four years before leaving in 1964.

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However, in 1965, George Perkins, owner of a popular Liberty Street nightclub, encouraged him to sing as a soloist. Sir Guy began his career on Frank Guida’s S.P.Q.R. label. On the label, he released the singles “Broke Down and Cried” and “The Frog” in 1967. After leaving Guida in 1967, the songs were reworked for Perkins and Lenis Guess’ D.P.G. label as “The Frisky Frog” and “I Cried.”

Sir Guy & The Rocking Cavaliers released two singles on the D.P.G. label in 1969, “My Sweet Baby” and “Funky Virginia,” both co-written by Sir Guy and Perkins. The latter became a regional hit.

The single “Let Home Cross Your Mind” was released in 1972, and within a few months, Sir Guy created a revised version with a new title, “I Need You, Baby.” Both compositions were regional hits.

Sir Guy married Beatrice Williams Barron from Aiken, South Carolina in 1974. They parented two sons, Clarence Jr and Stacey.

Clarence Eugene “Sir Guy” Barron, whose performances at Norfolk’s Eureka Lodge, The Plaza Hotel, and Queen’s Topside Lounge on Church Street were a weekend treat, died on June 15, 2010, in Aiken, South Carolina, of cancer. He was 64. Following his death, the singles “I Need You Baby” and “Let Home Cross Your Mind” were re-released in 2011 with support from the Speller Bros. Band. These songs, along with reissues of Sir Guy’s “My Sweet Baby” and “Funky Virginia” in 2015, helped to sustain the Norfolk Sound.


Written by How Africa News

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