Clair Brothers, is an audio manufacturer and sound reinforcement company founded by brothers Roy Clair and Gene Clair in 1966 in Lititz, PA. Clair Brothers is among the worlds largest and oldest Sound Reinforcement companies. In 2009 it split into a touring sound, lights, staging and logistics company, Clair Global, and a professional sound products company, Clair Systems.
Brothers Roy and Gene Clair grew up in Lititz, PA, where their parents owned a grocery store. Their father bought them a small PA system in 1955 which they started to rent out to bands, schools, and churches. It consisted of a horn loudspeaker, a Stromberg-Carlsson integrated preampilfier, a 35-watt power amp and a microphone. Money they earned went to buying more equipment. Through high school, college and after they continued to rent it out and add to it. Their business was a Loudspeaker reconing business, Clair Reconing, which basically fixed loudspeakers, where they first started learning about loudspeaker design and how important it is to efficiency.
In the early 1960s Gene began working as a technician for Franklin & Marshall College in nearby Lancaster, PA, which gave them opportunities to rent out their sound system. Their sound system consisted of two columns with six eight-inch speakers each, a Bogen amplifier and four Shure 55s microphones and rented for $95 a night.
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
Their big break came in 1966. They provided sound to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons at a local show. The band’s road crew was impressed by the Clair Brothers sound system. Roy asked to be invited into their dressing room where he talked about why the system sounded so good.
The next day the band had a show in Allentown, PA, which sounded terrible. They contacted the Clair brothers through a local DJ and asked them to come down with their system. Just before these two concerts they had done a show with Herb Alpert who had not allowed them to use his superior sound system and they were stuck with the poor house sound system. This made them realize the benefit of traveling with their own sound system. Once again impressed with the Clair brothers sound system the tour manager asked them to join them on the road for the rest of the tour bringing their sound system. It is believed they were the first professional sound company to tour with a band…… “
The above is a very brief insight into their legacy, the Clair Brothers, from my research and known fact over the years working here in India as a Sound Engineer, now I also a moonlighting “system-tech”.
The rest when it comes to the “Clair Bros”, as we know of today is nothing but a matter of fact and a great conversation over a cup of coffee, the Clair Bros went on to become a prestigious brand to reckon with through time and they still stand tall in their perseverance to be the best in the business of audio reproduction, always. Cheers to them and much respect.
For more info on their varied products available please visit their link at www.claircompanies.com for more details.