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The singer and songwriter known as Brenton Wood was born Alfred Jesse Smith in 1941 in Shreveport, Louisiana. As a child, Brenton’s family moved to Los Angeles and it was while attending college in California that Brenton fell in love with music and began to take the potential pursuit of a career as a musician seriously. Wood adopted the moniker by which he would become known, and he began composing and studying piano. Brenton Wood’s earliest endeavors didn’t m...Brenton Wood Bio Continue
Brian Wilson was born in Inglewood, California in 1942. Brian and his two brothers grew up in a household with an abusive father, but one who steered all three boys toward musical studies. As a child, Brian was given lessons in voice, piano, and accordion, and a natural ability for composition and theory was apparently not hindered at all by partial deafness in his right ear. By the time he was sixteen, Brian Wilson was using tape recorders to experiment with vocal arrangements and r...Brian Wilson Bio Continue
Buddy Guy was born in 1936 in Louisiana and began performing in the early 1950’s around the state as a singer and guitar player. Buddy won a recording contract after entering and winning a competition in the late 1950’s, and since that time, he has enjoyed a career performing Chicago-style blues. In the early 1960’s, Buddy Guy released hits such as “Ten Years Ago,” “First Time I Met the Blues,” “Keep it to Yourself,” “L...Buddy Guy Bio Continue
Burt Bacharach was born in Kansas City in 1928. As a child, he studied a variety of instruments, including piano and cello, which undoubtedly contributed to his eventual achievement as one of the most important composers of the century. A family move to New York when he was young gave Bacharach the opportunity to encounter jazz played live, and he could often be found sneaking into clubs to watch performances by such famed musicians as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. As a yo...Burt Bacharach Bio Continue
Carl Reiner was born in 1922 in the Bronx, New York. He was still a teenager when he stumbled upon a free workshop being offered for those interested in learning the dramatic arts. Reiner ditched his current job as a machinist and at the age of sixteen began acting. Carl immediately found he had a talent for comedy and acting, and began his career with a number of Broadway musicals. By the early 1950’s, he’s established a strong enough reputation that he was selected...Carl Reiner Bio Continue
Carlos Santana was born in 1947 in Mexico. His father was a mariachi player, and so the young Carlos began following in his father’s footsteps, learning the violin as a child. By the time he was eight, he began guitar lessons, and when the family moved to Tijuana, he began performing in local bars. In the early 1960’s, the Santana family moved to San Francisco, and Carlos finished out his high school education there. Carlos Santana founded the Santana Blues Band in 1...Carlos Santana Bio Continue
By the time her album Tapestry rocketed her to fame in 1971, singer/songwriter Carole King had already earned a reputation as one of music’s most successful and talented composers. Carole King formed her first band while still in high school, having learned to play the piano at age four. While still a young woman, King forged a writing partnership with Gerry Goffin, and together they wrote the Shirelle’s “Will You Love Me Tomorrow, which hit the charts...Carole King Bio Continue
....Charles Wright Bio Continue
Chubby Checker was born as Ernest Evans in 1941 in South Carolina. Before he reached the age of ten, the young Ernest was performing harmony vocals with friends, and by the time he began his high school studies, he’d become a self-taught piano player. It was a lucky break that led to a local store owner arranging for Evans to meet up with Dick Clark for a performance, after which time he began using the name Chubby Checker. Chubby Checker’s first single, &ldquo...Chubby Checker Bio Continue
The American R&B singer Chuck Jackson was born in 1937 in South Carolina. Jackson grew up in Pittsburgh, and rose to fame initially as a member of the Del-Vikings, a notable late 1950’s group with hits such as "Willette." After departing from the Del-Vikings, Chuck began performing as a solo artist and quickly garnered the attention of Scepter Records in the early 1960’s. In 1961, Chuck Jackson released the hit single ...Chuck Jackson Bio Continue
The American blues singer and producer Clarence Carter was born in 1936 in Montgomery, Alabama. Clarence was born blind, but with a tremendous talent for music, and so after grading from the Alabama School for the Blind in Talladega, he went on to earn his Bachelor of Science in music from Alabama State College in the early 1960’s. Carter began his career in music alongside Calvin Scott, and as a duo the two men recorded a number of hits in the 1960’s. Unfortu...Clarence Carter Bio Continue
The British actress and jazz singer known as Cleo Laine was born Clementina Dinah Bullock in 1927 in Southall, Middlesex. Cleo grew up in a working class family, but her parents encouraged her to learn to sing and dance when she was a young child. Before rising to prominence as a performer, Cleo worked a number of odd jobs, including librarian and hairdresser, until in her early 20’s she began auditioning for bands. Her first gig was as a singer with John Dankworth, whom s...Cleo Laine Bio Continue
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