Genre: Jazz & Blues
Price: Under $50,000
Demographics: 35-50,50 +
Taj Mahal Song List
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The blues musician Taj Mahal was born Henry Saint Clair Fredericks in 1942 in Harlem, New York. Taj Mahal was raised in Massachusetts, however, and as a child he was highly influenced by his musical parents. His father worked as a music arranger and piano player, his mother sang in the local choir, and both of them exposed the young Taj Mahal to a variety of world music as he was growing up. The family household was often filled with musicians, and Taj Mahal began studying piano, harmonica, and trombone when he was still in elementary school.
Taj Mahal sang in a local vocal group and began studying guitar when he was in high school. The genre of blues quickly became his favorite and his focus, and in 1964 he moved to California and began forming his first musical groups. The group Rising Sons, alongside musicians Jessie Lee Kincaid and Ry Cooder, brought Taj Mahal his first major label deal with Columbia, and even though the group didn’t last, it launched a solo career for Taj Mahal upon the group’s breakup. His debut album, Taj Mahal, was released in 1968, and he also began performing alongside a number of notable and rising musicians of the period, including the Rolling Stones.
Despite some record label changes, from the next four decades, well into the new millennium, Taj Mahal album after album, including: The Natch’l Blues (1968), Happy Just to Be Like I Am (1971), Recycling The Blues & Other Related Stuff (1972), Music Keeps Me Together (1975), Taj (1987), Shake Sugaree (1988), Dancing the Blues (1993), Phantom Blues (1996), Senior Blues (1997), Sacred Island, aka Hulu Blues (1998), Hanapepe Dream (2000), Mkutano Meets the Culture Musical Club of Zanzibar (2005), and Maestro (2008), in addition to numerous live and compilation albums. Taj Mahal has also appeared as a musician in a number of films, including Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991), Six Days Seven Nights (1998), Blues Brothers 2000 (1998), Scrapple (1998), Songcatcher (2000), and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sister hood (2002.)
For his contributions to music, Taj Mahal has been recognized with Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary Blues Album twice (for Senior Blues and Shoutin’ in Key.) He has been nominated multiple other times. Most recently, Taj Mahal was recognized as the official Blues Artist of Massachusetts, and Wofford College in South Carolina awarded him an honorary Doctor of Humanities. Taj Mahal continues to perform and record.
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