Born: February 5, 1944 Primary Instrument: Composer/conductor
Al Kooper has been quite the Renaissance Man of Rock. Somehow, in a career that spans 50 years, he has managed to turn up at key points in the last five decades. In 1958, Koop began his professional career as guitarist in The Royal Teens (Short Shorts). He transformed into a Tin Pan Alley songwriter with cuts covered by Gary Lewis, Gene Pitney, Keely Smith, Carmen MacRae, Pat Boone, Freddie Cannon, Lulu, Lorraine Ellison, Donnie Hathaway and later was sampled by The Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, Pharcyde, and Alchemist to name but a few.
In the mid-sixties, Al was a member of The Blues Project and then founded Blood Sweat & Tears, remaining only for their debut album Child Is Father To The Man. He then slipped his producer hat on and began with the top ten album Super Session in 1968 featuring Mike Bloomfield & Stephen Stills. He is well known for his organ playing on Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone. He played off & on with Dylan for many years, live and in the studio. His playing skills have graced the works of The Rolling Stones, George Harrison, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Peter Paul & Mary, Tom Petty, Joe Cocker, BB King, Taj Mahal, Alice Cooper, Roger McGuinn, Betty Wright, Trisha Yearwood, Tracy Nelson and scores more. Major moments include playing piano, organ and the opening french horn for The Rolling Stones on You Cant Always Get What You Want, keyboards on George Harrison's #1 hit All Those Years Ago, keys on The Who Sell Out, and on Electric Ladyland for Jimi Hendrix....
Source: Al Kooper