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Sergio Mendes was born in Brazil in 1941. As a child, Sergio studied classical piano, with intentions to become a professional musician, but by the time he’d reached his teens, his appreciation for bossa nova had grown, and he switched from a focus on the classical genre to bossa nova. By the early 1960’s, while still a young man, Mendes was touring the world, performing with the likes of Herbie Mann and Cannonball Adderley. In 1964, Sergio Mendes released his ...Sergio Mendes Bio Continue
Shirley Bassey was born in Cardiff, Wales, in 1937. Her talent for singing was apparent as a young child, despite being born into a rather large and impoverished family, and she used the talent to rise above her circumstances. Bassey left school while still a young teen, and began singing in local pubs and clubs. She eventually began traveling around the country to perform with revues, and in 1955 she experienced her breakout moment while singing at a Christmas show in London. Comedian Al ...Shirley Bassey Bio Continue
The gospel music singer Shirley Caesar was born in 1938 in Durham, North Carolina. Young Shirley grew up singing for her family and friends when she was still just a child. Her first endeavors at recording began before she was a teenager, and so it’s no surprise that when she was only eighteen she as offered a gig as a member of the Caravans, one of the era’s most successful gospel groups. Caesar stayed with the Caravans until 1966, at which time she launched h...Shirley Caesar Bio Continue
Simon and Garfunkel came together as childhood friends in the 1950's, and even recorded some early singles together. But it would be as a folk duo, discovered by producer Tom Wilson, that Simon and Garfunkel would create a style that perfectly matched the rising popularity of folk-rock in the era. Wilson took the strongest track Simon and Garfunkel had available, "Sound of Silence," and added bass, drums, and electric guitar. The new sound brought it to number one ...Simon & Garfunkel Bio Continue
The talented Sledge sisters formed Sister Sledge in 1972, and by 1979, they would be recognized for some of the decade's most recognizable hits, including the long-lasting "We Are Family." Their 1979 album, We Are Family, included not only the title track hit, but also "He's the Greatest Dancer." A year later, Sister Sledge released Love Somebody Today, and the singles "Pretty Baby" and "Got to Love Somebody" both found a home on t...Sister Sledge Bio Continue
The artist known as Sly Stone was born Sylvester Steward in 1943 in Texas. Young Sly’s parents performed frequently along with Sly and his siblings in their local church, and music was a frequent presence in the family household. Before he was a teenager, Sly had already mastered a number of instruments, including drums and guitar, and by the 1960’s he had formed Sly and the Family Stone, reaching a tremendous level of success and establishing the R&B/Funk sound of the era....Sly Stone Bio Continue
Smokey Robinson is considered one of the iconic voices of urban contemporary music. Although he’s best noted for his vocal talents, he’s also an accomplished songwriter. Smokey Robinson contributed heavily to the early success of Motown not only for his contributions while a member of the Miracles, but also as a songwriter for performers such as the Temptations and Mary Wells; “My Guy” and “My Girl” were both Smokey Robinson creations, and he ...Smokey Robinson Bio Continue
Spyro Gyra was created in the mid 1970’s, when musicians and former band mates Jeremy Wall and Jay Beckenstein reunited after college. The two men began experimenting with R&B covers, mostly instrumental, and eventually they teamed up with Tom Walsh and Jim Kurzdorfer to form Spyro Gyra, in Buffalo, New York, which at the time had a growing jazz scene. Spyro Gyra began performing around town, eventually reaching into cities outside of the area, and the band eventually added addit...Spyro Gyra Bio Continue
Exploding into the jazz world in 1971, Stanley was a lanky teenager from the Philadelphia Academy of Music. He arrived in New York City and immediately landed jobs with famous bandleaders such as: Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Pharaoh Saunders, Gil Evans, Stan Getz, and a budding young pianist composer named Chick Corea. All of these musicians recognized immediately the ferocious dexterity and complete musicality the young Clarke possessed on the acoustic bass. N...Stanley Clarke Bio Continue
Donald Fagen and Walter Becker first came together in 1968 as students at Bard College. There they discovered common interests in jazz, blues, popular music and contemporary literature. They began performing cover songs together, and in 1969, they moved to Brooklyn, New York and recorded a series of demos over the next two years. Eventually, they formed Steely Dan with musicians David Palmer, Denny Dias, Jim Hodder, and Jeff Baxter, taking their name as an off-color tribute to t...Steely Dan Bio Continue
Stephanie Mills was born in 1957 in Brooklyn, New York. The young Stephanie grew up singing gospel music in her local church, but before she reached the age of ten, she had already made her Broadway debut. After winning a series of amateur competitions, including ones at the prestigious Apollo Theater, she earned a job as the supporting act for the Isley Brothers. Her debut album, Movin’ in the Right Direction was released in 1974, when Mills was still a teenager, but her biggest and...Stephanie Mills Bio Continue
Stephen Arthur Stills was born in 1945 and spent his childhood living in a variety of locations, including Florida, Louisiana, El Salvador, and Costa Rica. His music career began shortly after abandoning his studies at Louisiana State University in the 1960’s. Throughout the decade he could be found performing in a variety of venues in New York, in a number of different bands, and with a variety of musicians who would go on to become quite well-known. In the middle of the ...Stephen Stills Bio Continue
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