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The English musician and songwriter Graham Parker was born in 1950 in London. Long before Parker rose to fame as the front man for the band Graham Parker & the Rumour, he took an interest in music as a young teenager, forming his first band when he was only thirteen. After leaving school at the age of sixteen, Graham took a number of odd jobs until the early 1970’s, when he moved to Gibraltar. While in Gibraltar, Parker joined the band Pegasus, which ...Graham Parker Bio Continue
Herb Alpert was born in 1935 in California, to talented musicians. His parents, who had immigrated from Romania, were skilled mandolin and violin players who encouraged a love of music in their young son. Herb began his studies at the age of eight, starting with trumpet lessons, and carried his studies all the way through his high school years, until he graduated and entered the U.S. Army. While in the military, he continued to perform, and after returning to the states, Herb Alpert signed...Herb Alpert Bio Continue
Herbie Hancock was born in 1940 in Chicago. Young Herbie began studying classical music when he was only seven, and he very quickly mastered the most complicated piano pieces, even performing Mozart’s Piano Concert No. 5 at the age of eleven. Around the same time, Hancock began to develop an appreciation for jazz music, and by the time he entered college, he was pursuing his studies in the genre full-time. In the early 1960’s, Herbie Hancock became the pianist for Mi...Herbie Hancock Bio Continue
The soul singer Irma Thomas was born in 1941 in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. Long before Thomas won her first Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album in 2007, she had spent nearly fifty years performing as one of the era’s most talented, if unappreciated, performers. Irma began singing as a teenager in her local church choir, eventually landing a deal with a local New Orleans label. Her debut single, “(You Can Have My Husband But) Don’t Mess with My Man” experienced sig...Irma Thomas Bio Continue
Jackie Mason was born in 1931 and grew up in New York City. Although by the time he was in his late 1920’s, he was already launching his comedy and acting career, his first aspiration was to become a rabbi; after graduating from the City College of New York, he was ordained, but resigned three years later. Mason’s career as a comedian began first began with stand-up in hotels and other venues, and by the 1960’s, Jackie was performing on the Ed Sullivan Sh...Jackie Mason Bio Continue
The French jazz musician and composer Jean-Luc Ponty first rose to fame as a violinist in the 1960’s, particularly for his collaborations with Frank Zappa. But long before that, Jean-Luc studied music as a teenager at the prestigious Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris, earning the institutions Premier Prix award upon graduation. Ponty’s unique jazz violin style utilized the instrument in ways never before experienced; his notoriety...Jean-Luc Ponty Bio Continue
Jerry Butler brew up in Chicago and spend his childhood as a member of the local church choir. He became friends with Curtis Mayfield as a young boy and then as young men, Butler and Mayfield joined with Richard and Arthur Brooks and Sam Gooden to create the band initially known as the Roosters. By 1957, they had changed the name to Jerry Butler & the Impressions, and within one year of that, they’d scored their first hit with “For Your Precious Love.” Butl...Jerry Butler Bio Continue
John Fogerty has given audiences some of the most iconic songs in American popular music, including “Bad Moon Rising,” “Green River,” and “Proud Mary.” With Creedence Clearwater Revival and as a solo artist, Fogerty is best known for his “swamp roots” and “roots rock” sound. Born in Berkeley, California in 1945, John Fogerty found himself inspired by performers such as Bo Diddley and Little Richard. But after finding hi...John Fogerty Bio Continue
John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers was founded in 1963 and boasts dozens of rock’s biggest musicians as part of its lineup over the last four decades. Led by John Mayall, the Bluesbreakers have released more than fifty albums since their inception, and they show no signs of slowing down. John Mayall was born in 1933 near Manchester, England, to working class parents. The young John grew up influenced by his father’s guitar skills and love of jazz. He was instantly d...John Mayall Bio Continue
Johnny Mathis was born in 1935 in Gilmer, Texas, but grew up in San Francisco, California. Johnny’s father, a vaudeville entertainer, encouraged Johnny’s obvious talent and interest in music, purchasing a used piano for him and encouraging him to learn to play it. Within a short amount of time, Johnny Mathis was performing around town at church functions and school events. When Mathis was thirteen, he bartered with a voice teacher, exchanging lessons for housework. H...Johnny Mathis Bio Continue
Keith Richards was born in 1943 in Kent, a suburb of London. He and Mick Jagger met while still in primary school, although it was for the moment a brief meeting, and the two would not reunite until they reached adulthood. As a child, Richards began playing guitar, and following his expulsion from school in 1959, Keith’s headmaster recommended that he try Sidcup Art School. It was there that Keith Richards met Dick Taylor, who was playing with Mick Jagger in a band. It was a fortuito...Keith Richards Bio Continue
The doo-wop group known as Little Anthony and the Imperials was established in the 1950’s when members from the groups the Chesters and the Duponts merged to create a new group. Following the release of their smash-hit single, "Tears on My Pillow," in 1958, the group released We Are the Imperials in the following year and secured their position as one of the most iconic groups of the era. Little Anthony and the Imperials enjoye...Little Anthony and the Imperials Bio Continue
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