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Clifford “James” Fields 67, of Mooers, NY sang his final song on October 17, 2023 at CVPH Hospital in Plattsburgh, NY surrounded by his loving family, after struggling for many years with health issues.
Born to Nelson and Emily Magnolia Fields of Chicago, Illinois, and brother to 6 siblings, James entered the world with music in his heart on December 31, 1955, sharing his birthday with his twin brother Clyde.
As a child James’ first guitar was a broom. Instead of doing his chores with it, he would often be found strumming it. When he realized his love of music, and got his own guitar, he began entertaining his grandparents and close family and friends. After graduating from highschool in Commerce, TX James enlisted in the military. Shortly after serving in the Army and the Marine Corp. James moved to the North Country where he married his first wife, and was a father to three children.
James started his musical career playing in various places around the North Country. Having the opportunity to replace an absent band member one night, James quickly became a permanent member of “ The Sunset Playboys” band playing guitar. After hearing James’ amazing voice it wasn’t long before he became the lead singer and guitarist for the band. Soon the name “Jimmy Fields” began to spread like wildfire. He became known as “The Charley Pride of The North Country”. Devoted fans from everywhere were in complete awe at the musical talent James displayed. Songs such as “Kiss An Angel Good morning”, “Crystal Chandelier”, “The Snakes Crawl At Night”, “Teddy Bear”, “Can’t Help Falling In Love”, and so many more kept crowds roaring to hear more. James had even written a special song for his oldest son Anthony titled,” Daddy Write A Country Song For Me”. The band was a regular at the Rainbow Tavern, Della’s Inn, The Eagles Nest, and Tim’s Place. Throughout their career The Playboys also had the opportunity to open for Country Music Legend “Tammy Wynette” at two Watertown shows. The Sunset Playboys went on to play their music for many years. After disbanding, James continued his music with several local bands. Throughout James’ musical career he had the honor of playing alongside many talented musicians whom he loved dearly. As the years passed James continued to fulfill his beloved fans requests when he would appear on Facebook live several nights a week. Aside from James’ music he was also an assistant manager at the AMES Store in Champlain, NY for several years. He went on to work for Citizens Advocate in Plattsburgh, NY, and also became a certified respite provider for the OPWDD- Sunmount DDSO Agency, where he spent many , many years caring for developmentally disabled individuals whom he loved and adored.
Along with James’ gifted ability to entertain, he possessed a truly exceptional personality, a huge sense of humor, and most of all a big beautiful heart. He was a friend to all. His presence would light up a room. He had the ability to make everyone feel welcome and valued no matter where or when. James was a “conversationalist extraordinaire”, able to carry on a conversation about anything for hours on end. His knowledge seemed beyond his years. You would always know when he was around, his deep voice, infectious laugh, and big smile could brighten even the darkest of days. James was known to be quite a character, always trying to make people
laugh. He never refused his chance to shine or make others feel happy. Dressing up every Halloween and making demonic noises on his microphone that could probably be heard a mile away were one of his favorite things to do. James loved Christmas, and would dress up like Santa every year and make his special “Frappe” drink for family and friends.The holidays brought him so much joy. Aside from all the musical instruments James could play, he was an excellent artist. He loved to shoot pool, watch movies, play darts and dominoes. James loved to go fishing, although he would often hook the occasional boat passing by more often than a fish. James was a storyteller, a preacher, a dad, a son, a husband, a best friend, a teacher, a dancer, gave the best piggy back rides, and so much more. The list could go on and on, but anyone that knew him knows what an extraordinary man he was.
In the summer of 1994 James started his journey with the love of his life, Theresa. Together, they shared a life, a love, and an unbreakable bond that only grew stronger with each year that passed. Though not nearly enough, they shared many precious years together. Although his music was at the center of his heart, his family was the song in his heart. James will forever be remembered for the unmeasurable love he had for life, and all the many lives he touched.
James is survived by his loving wife Theresa Fields, his Aunt Shearlyn LeBlanc, his brother Fabian (Wanda) Fields, his sisters Tomika and Delilah Fields. His children, Demetria Fry, Anthony Fields Sr. , Clifford (Jodie Galarneau, long-time companion)Fields Jr., Lisa “Wheezy” (Scott) Roberts, Dan (Elizabeth) Johnson, Laurie “Mooky” (Herbert “Beef”) Barcomb, Jon (Nicole) Johnson, Casey ”Case-man” Johnson, and Matthew “Bartholomew” Roman. His Grandchildren Michael, Kattie, Christopher, Nia, Anthony Jr., Keenan, Keelan, Kaya (Jayvon), Trey, Justin, Corey, Tera, Miranda, Danny Jr., David , Dylan, Katelyn (Josh), Austin (Alyssa), Jayden, and Benjamin. Several great grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and his girls he loved and cared for Diana Brady and Loretta Putnam.
James has now reunited with his mother Emily Magnolia Fields, his father Nelson Fields, his twin brother Clyde Fields, and his sisters Sheila and Wynell Fields.
There will be a wake held in honor of James on Saturday October 28, 2023 from 12:00pm - 2:00pm at the Ross Funeral Home, located at 2586 US-11 in Mooers, NY. There will be no reception following. There will be a celebration of his life in the future.
Although our hearts mourn the loss of James, we find peace in knowing he is now in Heaven making beautiful music with his brother Clyde, Elvis Presley, and Charley Pride. Until we meet again, rest in peace our beloved Clifford “James” Fields.