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The American rock band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was established in the mid 1970’s by founding member Tom Petty. The group came together in Gainesville, Florida, after the band’s original lineup (Petty, Benmont Tench, Stan Lynch, Ron Blair, and Mike Campbell) was formed. Long before the band became one of the most influential performers of the “heartland rock”...Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Bio Continue
Tom Waits was born in 1949 in Pomona, California, and grew up in San Diego. He began playing music while still in high school, performing in a local R&B band, and after high school he began frequenting Los Angeles venue, The Troubadour, joining other musicians in a quest to appear onstage for the night’s performances. By the time he was in his early twenties, Waits had recorded a number of demo tapes that eventually garnered the attention of Asylum Records in 1972. Wai...Tom Waits Bio Continue
The Canadian comedian and actor known as Tommy Chong was born in 1938 in Edmonton, Alberta. Young Tommy grew up in Calgary, but struggled in school as a teenager. Eventually, he dropped out to set his sights on a career in entertainment, learning to play the guitar and joining a local band. Tommy played with a variety of bands throughout the late 1960’s, until he met up with Cheech Marin and forged the life-long friendship which would bring the would the comedic duo of Cheech & C...Tommy Chong Bio Continue
Tower of Power, an R&B band most recognized for its powerful horns, was formed over four decades ago in Oakland, California. Founded by Emilio Castillo and originally called the Motowns, Tower of Power reached its period of greatest popularity in the early 1970’s, after earning a contract with San Francisco Records. Tower of Power’s debut album released in the same year to moderate success, but the group was about to break into the music industry with full force. ...Tower of Power Bio Continue
George Ivan Morrison, better known as Van Morrison, was born in 1945 in Belfast. After touring with a band called the Monarchs, Morrison formed his first musical group, Them, while still a teenager. The band became popular locally and their debut single, “Don’t Start Crying Now,” was well-received upon its release in 1964. Perhaps the best-known single by Them is “Gloria,” which would go on to be frequently covered by a variety of musicians, including the Door...Van Morrison Bio Continue
Village People was created in 1977 by a French musical composer who had written a number of dance tunes and was seeking an outlet to have them performed. Victor Willis signed on as the group’s lead singer, and after recruiting additional founding members Felipe Rose, Mark Mussler, Lee Mouton, Dave Forrest, and Peter Whitehead, the band forged forward. With a trademark collection of various personas inspired by gay fantasy roles, Village People quickly exceeded everyone&rsq...Village People Bio Continue
The American basketball player Walt Frazier was born in 1945 in Atlanta. As a young man, Walt excelled at athletics, although the segregation of Georgia in the 1950’s made it difficult for him to find a facility in which to practice basketball. His love of the sport led to his acceptance of a scholarship from Southern Illinois University and he quickly rose to become one of the strongest collegiate players in the country. While in college, Frazier led the university ...Walt Frazier Bio Continue
Wayne Newton was born in 1942 in Norfolk, Virginia. At the young age of four, Wayne surprised his parents while at a Grand Ole Opry show by pointing to the stage and claiming that he wanted to grow up to be a performer. While still a child, he learned to play the guitar and piano. When the family moved to Ohio, Newton began singing whenever the opportunity presented itself – at local fairs, in theaters, and at local clubs. As a teenager, Wayne Newton suffered from severe a...Wayne Newton Bio Continue
The American soul singer William Bell was born William Yarborough in 1939 in Memphis, Tennessee. Bell released a few singles in the 1950’s when he was a member of the Del-Rios, but launched a solo career with his song “You Don’t Miss Your Water” in the early 1960’s. The song was covered by Otis Redding, which gave Bell some additional exposure, but it was his song “Share What You Got (But Keep What You Need)” that launched his solo career upon its ...William Bell Bio Continue
Willie Nelson was born in 1933, in Texas, right in the middle of the Great Depression. His parents’ search for work brought him to Arkansas, but while still a young child, both his mother and father left Willie and his siblings with their grandparents to be raised. Willie Nelson’s grandparents had been music teachers, and so they began to teach Willie and his siblings, a fortuitous turn of events which would elicit young Willie’s yet untapped talents. And so yo...Willie Nelson Bio Continue
Yes was established by Chris Squire in 1969. The band released its debut album, Yes, in the same year, and followed up with Time and a Word (1970), both to moderate success, before the band reached staggering success with the album which has now been recognized as the first of their finest, The Yes Album (1971.) The band’s iconic album was no accident in its formation. Realizing the stiff competition they were facing at the time, the members of Yes worked diligently to create the sou...Yes Bio Continue
This This sturdy American blues-rock trio from Texas consists of Billy Gibbons (guitar), Dusty Hill (bass), and Frank Beard (drums). They were formed in 1970 in and around Houston from rival bands the Moving Sidewalks (Gibbons) and American Blues (Hill and Beard). Their first two albums refl ected the strong blues roots and Texas humor of the band. Their third album (Tres Hombres) gained them national attention with the hit "La Grange," a signature riff tune to this day, based on...ZZ Top Bio Continue
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