Ray Charles

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Ray Charles – Brief Bio

Born on September 23, 1930, in Albany, Georgia, United States, Ray Charles Robinson better known as Ray Charles, was well known as an singer-songwriter, musician and composer. He was widely regarded as the one who pioneered soul music, a form of music that fused rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues styles.

Ray Charles started losing his eyesight at the tender age of five and went completely blind at the age of seven due to glaucoma. Charles lost his father, Bailey Robinson when he was ten and at fifteen his mother, Aretha (William) Robinson, died too.

After the loss of his parents, Ray Charles was looked after by a couple who were good friends of his mother. They moved to Jacksonville where Charles started his musical career by playing the piano bands at the Ritz Theatre in LaVilla, for $4 a night.

Ray Charles career lasted from 1947 till the year he died at the age of 73 in 2004. Throughout his illustrious career,

Rolling Stone ranked Charles number ten on their list of “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” in 2004, and number two on their November 2008 list of “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”.In honoring Charles, Billy Joel noted: “This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley”.

Art Garfunkel

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Art Garfunkel ~ Short Bio

More known as the other half of Simon and Garfunkel, Art Garfunkel was born on the 5th. of November, 1941. His full name is Arthur Ira “Art” Garfunkel.

Art Garfunkel met his future singing partner Paul Simon in the sixth grade, when they were both cast in the elementary school graduation play, Alice In Wonderland.They started performing together as “Tom & Jerry”. It was after their graduation that the duo started performing under their own name as “Simon and Garfunkel”.

Their first album did not do very well under the Columbia label and the duo went separate ways. However, the following year, producer of the album took one of the songs from the album, “The Sound Of Silence” and released it as a single. It was a huge success and the song went to the number one spot on the Billboard pop charts.

After that success, the pair reunited and went on to become one of the most popular acts of the 1960s. In the Seventies however, Simon and Garfunkel went on to pursue their solo career.

As a solo artist Art Garfunkel’s achievement

include a top 10 hit, three top 20 hits, six top 40 hits, 14 Adult Contemporary top 30 singles, five Adult Contemporary number ones, two UK number ones and a People’s Choice Award. Through his solo and collaborative work, Garfunkel has earned six Grammys, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1990, he and former musical partner Simon were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Wikipedia

Art Garfunkel Official Site

Cliff Richard

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Cliff Richard ~ Brief Biography

Cliff Richard was named Harry Rodger Webb at birth. Born in India on the 14 October 1940 at King George’s Hospital, Victoria Street, in Lucknow, which was then part of British India.

When Cliff Richard was 8, his family moved to Tilbury, Essex, England where he attended a local primary school, Stanley Park Juniors, in Carshalton. A year later, they again move to Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire to stay with relatives after his father obtained employment in the credit control office of Thorn Electrical Industries.

Cliff Richard, still known as Harry Webb then, started his musical career at 16 when his father bought him a guitar and he formed the Quintones vocal group in 1957. He later became the lead singer of a rock and roll group, the Drifters and that was when he was officially adopted the name Cliff Richard and the group became known as “Cliff Richard and the Drifters”.

Over a career spanning more than 50 years, Richard has become a fixture of the British entertainment world, amassing many gold and platinum discs and awards, including three Brit Awards and two Ivor Novello Awards. He has had more than 130 singles, albums and EPs make the UK Top 20, more than any other artist and holds the record (with Elvis Presley) as the only act to make the UK singles charts in all of its first six decades (1950s–2000s). He has achieved 14 UK No. 1 singles (or 18, depending on the counting methodology) and is the only singer to have had a No. 1 single in the UK in 5 consecutive decades: the 1950s through to the 1990s. In 2008, he celebrated his 50th anniversary in music by releasing a greatest hits album, featuring the new track “Thank You for a Lifetime”, which reached number 3 in the UK singles chart. In November 2013, Richard released his latest album, The Fabulous Rock ‘n’ Roll Songbook, which became the 100th album of his career.

On 17 June 1995 Cliff Richard was appointed a Knight Bachelor. He is now referred to as Sir Cliff Richard OBE.

References:

Wikipedia

The Official Cliff Richard Website

Kenny Loggins

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Kenny Loggins ~ Short Biography

Born January 7, 1948 in Everett, Washington, Kenny Loggins full name is Kenneth Clark “Kenny” Loggins. He has 2 elder brothers. Loggins graduated from Gabriel High School in 1966 and 2 years later, started his career in music by forming a band called the Second Helping.

In the early Seventies, Kenny Loggins teamed up with Jim Messina

Over the next four years they produced five more albums of original material in the studio, plus one album of covers of other artists’ material, and two live albums. They sold 16 million records and were the most successful duo of the early 1970s, surpassed later in the decade only by Hall & Oates. Their work was covered by other artists such as Lynn Anderson, who recorded “Listen to a Country Song,” which was released in 1972 and reached No. 3 on the charts, and, perhaps most notably, Anne Murray, who peaked in the U.S. top 10 with “Danny’s Song” in April 1973 and in the top 15 with “A Love Song” in March 1974. A greatest-hits album, The Best of Friends, would be released a year after the duo had separated.

In 1977, Kenny Loggins went solo. It proved to be a wise decision as he went on to achieve great success which he maintained till the present day.

References:

Wikipedia

Frank Zappa

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Frank Zappa – Brief Biography

Frank Zappa, full name, Frank Vincent Zappa, born on December 21, 1940, was one of the most prolific musician of the Seventies era. He was a songwriter, composer, recording engineer, record producer, and film director. A multi talented artist, Frank Zappa composed rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also involved in directing feature-length films and music videos and also designing album covers.

Frank Zappa received no formal training in music and was totally a self taught performer and composer and thus was often difficult to categorize his genre of music. His compositions were highly influenced by innovative or experimental composers of his time which often did not conform to standard practices.

Throughout the mid Sixties to the entire span of the Seventies and on to the Eighties, Frank Zappa’s career never weaned even though there were many ups and dopwns throughout. He passed on December 4, 1993 at the young age of 52.

Zappa was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

References:

Wikipedia
Zappa dot com

David Bowie

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David Bowie – Short Biography

David Bowie was born on 8 January 1947 in Brixton, London. His real name is David Robert Jones. His parents were regular English people with his father Haywood Stenton “John” Jones hailing from Yorkshire while mother Margaret Mary “Peggy” was from Kent.

David Bowie spent his early schooling years in the suburb of Bromley, where he attended school. Bowies’s interest in music also took an early root there.

From 1962 right up to the early seventies David Bowie’s career as a musician achieved considerable success, collobrating with some big names in the industry and experimenting with different genres of music. In 1974, he relocated to the United States, settling down in Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, despite his success, it was there that Bowie got himself involved in drugs. His drug problem was so serious that he was described as “deranged” by some.

In 1976, Bowie moved to Switzerland where his drug problem worsened. He however was able to maintain his sanity and even took interest in other pursuits outside his musical career. He took up painting and photography, producing a number of post-modernist pieces. Bowie also began an intensive self-improvement course in classical music and literature.

Mabe it was due to all this new interest that David Bowie decided to do something to get rid of his drug addiction. At the end of 1976, he moved to West Berlin with the hope of cleaning up his life and revitalizing his burgeoning career.

David Bowie proved to be one of the resiliant artist that have the ability to lats through 3 decades. As q1uoted from Wikipedia,

Bowie reached a new peak of popularity and commercial success in 1983 with Let’s Dance. Co-produced by Chic’s Nile Rodgers, the album went platinum in both the UK and the US. Its three singles became top twenty hits in both countries, where its title track reached number one. “Modern Love” and “China Girl” made number two in the UK,

David Bowie is still performing right to this day.

References:

Wikipedia
David Bowie (Official) Facebook Page