Twin brothers Cliff (b. 14 July 1919, Mobile, Alabama, USA, d. 2 March 1983) and Claude Trenier (b. 14 July 1919, Mobile, Alabama, USA, d. 17 November 2003, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA) formed their first band, the Alabama State Collegians, in college during the 30s and took it on the road after graduating in 1941. Claude left in 1943 to replace Dan Grissom as ballad singer with Jimmie Lunceford’s Orchestra, and Cliff joined him the following year. Claude also sang on sessions headed by Barney Bigard and Charles Mingus in 1946. After going solo in 1947 with their own small group, which included Don Hill on alto saxophone and Gene Gilbeaux on piano, the Trenier Twins began recording for Mercury Records, Chord (1949) and London Records (1950). By 1951 the twins had been joined by their brothers Milt and Buddy, and went on to record as a quartet for OKeh Records (1951-55), RCA Records’ Vik subsidiary (1956), Brunswick Records (1957) and Dot Records (1958).
After becoming the visual act of the early rock ‘n’ roll era and inspiring clones such as the Comets and the Bellboys, the Treniers appeared in several major rock ‘n’ roll movies (notably Don’t Knock The Rock and The Girl Can’t Help It) and visited Europe in 1958, where they were the support act on the ill-fated Jerry Lee Lewis tour. Increasingly becoming a supper-club act in the 60s, they made albums for Hermitage, TT and their own Mobile Records. After Cliff’s death in 1983, Claude continued to lead the Treniers with older brother Buddy (d. 1999), nephew Skip (vocals) and Don Hill (alto saxophone). Claude Trenier continued to work until two months before his death from cancer in November 2003.