Bob Seger

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Bob Seger in concert

Robert Clark "Bob" Seger (b. May 6, 1945) is a popular American rock musician, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and pianist. Seger started as a locally popular Detroit-area artist and performed and recorded under the names "Bob Seger and the Last Heard" and "The Bob Seger System" during the 1960s. Seger then relocated to Detroit and formed "The Silver Bullet Band" in 1973. He has co-written and performed many hits such as his extremely popular signature song "Old Time Rock n' Roll" and major hits such as "Night Moves" and "Against the Wind". He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. Seger has had a career spanning five decades and still currently performs, with his most recent tour taking place in 2010.[1]

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Early Life

Seger was born in Detroit in Henry Ford Hospital on May 6, 1945. He was raised as a small child in Dearborn, Michigan. Seger and his family moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan when Seger was six years old.[2] Seger's father was a musician and Ford plant worker. Seger's father abandoned the family and moved to California in 1955. Seger graduated from Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor in 1963. He ran track and field. Seger said his early musical influences were Little Richard, James Brown, and Elvis Presley.

Early Career

Seger started out in a three-piece band called The Decibels with two classmates from his Ann Arbor high school in 1961. They recorded "The Lonely One" which was Seger's first original song and it was aired on an Ann Arbor radio station. After the Decibels disbanded, Seger joined The Town Criers, singing lead vocals. The band began covering popular songs and started to gain popularity. After the Town Criers gained popularity, Seger met a man named Doug Brown with a band called the Omens. Seger joined the band. Though Brown was the primary lead singer, Seger would take the lead on some of their cover versions of songs. This was when Seger would first appear on an officially released recording, "TGIF", backed with "First Girl". Seger met longtime manager Edward “Punch” Andrews and wrote and produced songs for acts he was managing, such as The Mushrooms. Seger produced a song called "East Side Story" for The Underdogs which proved to be a failure for them. He left the Omens, though retaining Brown as a producer, and recorded the song himself as Bob Seger and The Last Heard in 1966. He released the song on the Hideouts Record label in January 1966, and it was his first local hit song. "East Side Story" sold over 50,000 copies in the Detroit area. He recorded “Persecution Smith”, “Vagrant Winter”, and “Heavy Music” in 1967 before the label went out of business. He then signed on to Capitol Records, turning down a larger offer from Motown since Capitol was better suited toward his style of music, and was known as "The Bob Seger System" until he went solo in 1970.[3][4] As the Bob Seger System, he released ""2 + 2 = ?", which became a hit in Detroit and even Canada. His second single, "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" was a huge hit in Michigan, and was his first national hit. His albums Noah and Mongrel failed to replicate that success, and though popular with Detroit fans, failed to do well commercially. Seger decided to become a solo act.

Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band

In 1974, Seger formed the Silver Bullet Band. Members include Drew Abbott (guitarist), Charlie Allen Martin (backup singer), Rick Mannassa (keyboard), and saxophonist Alto Reed who has performed with other famous artists. Their first single "Get Out of Denver" was a small national success. Seger went back to Capitol Records in 1975 to record the album Beautiful Loser. The single "Katmandu" was the biggest national break-out the singer had since "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man". Seger would have even more national success with Live Bullet, a live album recorded over two days at Cobo Arena in Detroit during September 1975. It contains the classic "Turn the Page" as well as his 1960s hits and the album eventually went to reach 5x Platinum status, and remains one of the top ten live albums. Live Bullet was an instant Detroit hit and it quickly gained prominence around the country.

Seger continued to perform with the Silver Bullet Band and achieved his breakthrough with the album Night Moves. The title track "Night Moves" reached #4 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart. The album also contains the song "Mainstreet", in reference to the street in Ann Arbor, another of Seger's major hits. Stranger in Town, released in 1978, was another strong album for Seger. It contained the uptempo hit "Hollywood Nights", the hit "Still the Same", and Seger's signature song "Old Time Rock n' Roll". In 1980, Against the Wind was released. It featured the hit title song "Against the Wind", and "Fire Lake", a #6 Hot 100 hit. In 1981, Seger released the live album Nine Tonight, which sold over four million copies. The Distance was released in 1982, which featured Seger's biggest hit, 'Shame on The Moon". After several years, Seger produced another album, Like a Rock in 1986. The title track "Like a Rock" reached #3 on Hot 100 and reached Platinum. "Shakedown", released in 1987, was Seger's only pop #1 hit, and appeared on the soundtrack for Beverly Hills Cop II. Seger's next two albums, The Fire Inside and It's a Mystery had little radio play or other exposure, though the latter did go Gold, selling 500,000 copies. However, his greatest hits compilation sold millions of copies. In 1996, Seger went back on tour. He has also done more tours in the 2000s, with the most recent tour taking place in 2010.

Discography[5]

Album title Year released Album title Year released
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man 1969 Against the Wind 1980
Noah 1969 Nine Tonight 1981
Mongrel 1970 The Distance 1982
Brand New Morning 1971 Like a Rock 1986
Smokin' O.P.s' 1972 The Fire Inside 1991
Back in '72 1973 Greatest Hits 1994
Seven 1974 It's a Mystery 1995
Beautiful Loser 1975 Greatest Hits 2 2003
Night Moves 1976 Face the Promise 2006
Live Bullet 1976 Early Seger Vol. 1 2009
Stranger in Town 1978

References

  1. Bob Seger Biography From the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  2. Seger's Early Life
  3. Bob Seger Last FM
  4. Allthemusic Bio
  5. Bob Seger Discography

External links

See Also

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