Friday, May 20, 2011
Let's Get Serious for a Moment ...
...if there is one person who is conspicuously missing from the Rock and Roll H.O.F. It would be Al Kooper. Rolling Stone Magazine's "500 Greatest Recordings of All Time" includes 12 albums with his participation. Al is a respected performer, producer, audio engineer and sideman! Please indulge me a moment.
Al Kooper joined The Royal Teens, who had a Top 5 hit with the tune "Short Shorts" in 1958 and a Top 30 hit a year later with "Believe Me." He also teamed to write, "This Diamond Ring,”made famous by Gary Lewis and the Playboys.
He joined the Blues Project, 1965 -67 and was a founding member of Blood Sweat & Tears. In 1972 he moved to Atlanta, signed and produced Lynyrd Skynyrd and then in 1979 he moves to England to produced David Essex. Al Moves to Austin in 1980 to produced "Texas Tornado" with country rocker Joe Ely. 1986 found Al living on the West Coast as Director of A&R for PolyGram Records, where Michael Mann hired Kooper to score his Crime Story TV series and producing some of the soundtrack for John Waters film "Cry Baby". He also served as musical director for Ray Charles 50th Anniversary TV special.
Along the way Al found time to have a solo career, recording over a dozen albums, and sit in as a sideman with artists including Bob Dylan, the remaining Beatles, playing on "All Those Years Ago," Simon & Garfunkel, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Moby Grape, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Taj Mahal, BB King, The Rolling Stones, Joe Walsh, Mike Bloomfield, and others.
Here is Alan Peter Kuperschmidt, better know as "Al Kooper" doing his best "sideman" gig. Now tell me again, why isn't he in the Rock Hall of Fame?