Is Joe Exotic Not Really Singing The Songs?
Watching the documentary of Tiger King like the rest of the world while being cooped up, I hear Joe Exotic's songs. Now, I have been around singers, and have sung, enough to know that his normal speaking voice and that singing voice just don't seem to match up. I realize that some people out there do sound totally different when they sing, but this one was way too big of a contrast. I just went with it and was impressed. That was until I heard him sing during the funeral. I won't spoil it for you, but just know there is a funeral involved.
Joe begins to sing during the funeral live, and that smooth voice on the album doesn't seem to be coming from him. I chalked it up to the world of innovative recording. With nothing else to do, I began to lose sleep over whether that was him or not singing in the recordings. Then, the rug was ripped out from under me! That is allegedly not his voice. The voice that we have fallen in love with reportedly belongs to a country singer named Danny Clinton.
The story goes that Exotic reached out to an agency to write a song about the park to use for Exotic's TV show. They agreed to hopefully gain exposure. Clinton and his writing partner, Vince Johnson, claim they wrote the theme song for exotic and then agreed to continue to write and perform the songs as Exotic would send them themes and subjects to write about.
They were not aware that Joe Exotic was going to take the songs and make videos with them. According to reports, Exotic has no musical talent, and that was a big running joke with everyone around him. They say Exotic was so musically inept, he couldn't even fake playing the guitar. Most of the time, he is hidden in the grass or trees when he has a guitar. Exotic still insists that it was his music and his voice in the recordings. The Netflix series does credit Clinton and Johnson for the music, but at no point is it given as to how they were involved.
Clinton and Johnson discovered this alleged Milli Vanilli scheme after Joe put the first music video on YouTube. Johnson called Exotic upset and angry. Joe insisted that the reality show was coming and he was doing it to help further the popularity. He gave neither Clinton nor Johnson the credit for the music.
Sadly, the voice we might have all fallen in love with, Danny Clinton's, has passed on. Danny died in 2011. Below is a song by the Clinton Johnson Band. His voice is absolutely amazing, and I am now glad he has been discovered, albeit a bit too late.