Post of the week:
AL KOOPER - Solo discography ('60 & '70)
Al Kooper is an American songwriter, record producer and musician, known for organizing Blood, Sweat & Tears (although he did not stay with the group long enough to share its popularity), providing studio support for Bob Dylan when he went electric in 1965, and also bringing together guitarists Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills to record the Super Session album. He has had a successful solo career since then, written music for film soundtracks, and has also lectured in musical composition. He continues to perform live to this day.
His first musical success was as a fourteen-year-old guitarist in The Royal Teens, best known for their novelty twelve-bar blues riff, "Short Shorts". In 1960, he joined the songwriting team of Bob Brass and Irwin Levine, and wrote "This Diamond Ring", which became a hit for Gary Lewis and the Playboys. When he was twenty-one, Kooper moved to Greenwich Village. He performed with Bob Dylan in concert in 1965, and in the recording studio in 1965 and 1966, including playing Hammond organ with Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Kooper also played the Hammond organ riffs on Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone. It was in those recording sessions that Kooper met and befriended Mike Bloomfield, whose guitar-playing he admired. He worked extensively with Bloomfield for a number of years. Kooper played organ once again with Dylan during his 1981 world tour. Kooper joined The Blues Project as their keyboardist in 1965, leaving the band shortly before their gig at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. He formed Blood, Sweat & Tears in 1967, leaving after the group's first album, Child Is Father to the Man, due to creative differences in 1968. He recorded Super Session with Bloomfield and Stills in 1968 as well, and in 1969 he collaborated with 15-year-old guitarist Shie Otis on the album Kooper Session. In 1975 he produced the debut album by The Tubes.
Kooper played on hundreds of records, including those by The Rolling Stones, B. B. King, The Who, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Alice Cooper, and Cream. On occasion, he has even overdubbed on his own efforts, as on The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper and on other albums, as "Roosevelt Gook". After moving to Atlanta in 1972, he discovered the band Lynyrd Skynyrd, and produced and performed on their first three albums, including the single "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird". Kooper also wrote the score for the TV series Crime Story and the film The Landlord and has also written music for several made-for-television movies. He was also the musical force behind many of the children series "Banana Splits" pop tunes, including "You're the Lovin' End."
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