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Al Kooper (born Alan Peter Kuperschmidt February 5, 1944, Brooklyn, New York) is an American songwriter, producer and musician, probably best known for organizing the group Blood, Sweat & Tears, though he didn't stay with the group long enough to share its popularity.Read More...
His first musical success was as a 14-year-old guitarist in the Royal Teens, best known for their novelty blues riff, "Short Shorts". In 1960, he joined the song-writing team of Bob Brass and Irwin Levine, who wrote the hit, "This Diamond Ring", for Gary Lewis and the Playboys. When he was 21, he moved to Greenwich Village.
He performed with Bob Dylan in concert in 1965 and in the studio in 1965 and 1966, including playing Hammond organ with Dylan at the (in)famous Newport Folk Festival of 1965. He worked extensively with Mike Bloomfield for a number of years after the two met as studio musicians on Dylan's legendary Highway 61 Revisited album.
In 1965, he co-formed The Blues Project and played their most famous gig at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. He formed Blood, Sweat & Tears in the same year, leaving after the group's first album, Child is Father to the Man, in 1968.
Kooper played on hundreds of records, including The Rolling Stones, B.B. King, The Who and Cream. On occasion, he has even overdubbed on his own efforts, as on The Live Adventures Of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper album, as Roosevelt Gook. He discovered the band Lynyrd Skynyrd, and produced their first three albums, including the single Sweet Home Alabama. Kooper also wrote the score for the TV series, Crime Story, and has also written music for several made-for-television movies. Kooper also produced a now rare album by a group called Appaloosa.
Al Kooper has published a memoir, Backstage Passes: Rock 'n' Roll Life In The Sixties (1977), now available in revised form as Backstage Passes & Backstabbing Bastards: Memoirs of a Rock 'N' Roll Survivor 2007
Top SongsTotal plays on Last.fm over the last 6 months
- Albert's Shuffle - 14,446 plays
- LyricsWhen I was coming down from someone else ya know
You took my hand
You pushed me up, you pulled me out
Ya done me good do ya understand?
No one else around could have saved me
- I Stand Alone - 7,420 plays
- Season Of The Witch - 2002 Remix w/o Horns - 6,013 plays
- LyricsLast night I had a dream that the world
Was changing by leaps and bounds
It started up in the bigger cities
Than it spread to the smaller towns
The people began to smile at people
- Season Of The Witch - 5,762 plays
- It Takes a Lot To Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry - 3,777 plays
- New York City (You're A Woman) - 4,778 plays
- It's My Own Fault - Live - 2,993 plays
- Where Were You When I Needed You - 6,651 plays