Though he's best known as a member of the short-lived but groundbreaking group Derek and the Dominoes with Eric Clapton, Whitlock has had a very impressive musical career. Raised in Arkansas and Memphis, by the time he was a teenager he was playing on many of the sessions at the legendary Stax Studios and was in fact the first white artist signed to Stax Records. With a soulful voice soaked in gospel, R&B, and blues and accomplished keyboard skills, it was only a matter of time before the limelight found him.
Delaney & Bonnie to join their band. Whitlock began a friendship with Eric Clapton when Delaney & Bonnie and Friends toured with him and would soon be part of Clapton's Derek and the Dominoes project. Co-writing many of the songs and playing and singing on most (that's him doing the lead vocal on his own "Thorn Tree in the Garden"), Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs was almost as much a Whitlock album as it was a Clapton album. With the same band, he played on George Harrison's All Things Must Pass and was also an uncredited musician on the Rolling Stones' influential Exile on Main Street a few years later.
Raw Velvet, while a little more uneven than the first, featured some of Duanne Allman's most heartbreaking and breathtaking slide playing (uncredited due to contractual legalities) on the track "Dearest I Wonder," recorded shortly before he died. After his 1976 album Rock Your Sox Off, Whitlock layed low for most of the '80s and '90s, living on a farm in Mississippi and doing some session work (though not even much of that). In 1999, he finally returned with the aptly titled It's About Time.