Robert Clark "Bob" Seger (born May 6, 1945) is an American rock and roll singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist.
Bob Seger was born in Dearborn, Michigan to Stewart and Charlotte Seger, and lived in the area until age 6 when his family moved to nearby Ann Arbor, Michigan. His father, a medical technician for the Ford Motor Company, played several instruments and Seger was exposed to music from an early age. Seger was also exposed to frequent arguments between his parents that disturbed the neighborhood at night. In 1956, when Seger was 10 years old, his father abandoned the family and moved to California. The remaining family soon lost their comfortable middle-class status and struggled financially.
Seger attended Tappan Junior High School (now Tappan Middle School) and graduated from Pioneer High School in 1963. He ran track and field in high school. Seger also went to Lincoln Park High School for a year.
Seger has stated that the first musicians "that really got to me" were Little Richard and Elvis Presley. "Come Go With Me" by The Del Vikings, a hit in 1957, was the first record he bought.
Bob Seger arrived on the Detroit music scene in 1961 fronting a three-piece band called the Decibels. The band included Seger on guitar, piano, keyboards, vocals, Pete Stanger, guitar, and H.B. Hunter on drums. All of the members attended Ann Arbor High. The Decibels recorded an acetate demo of a song called "The Lonely One", at Del Shannon's studio in 1961. As well as being Seger's first original song, "The Lonely One" was Seger's first song to be played on the radio, airing only once on an Ann Arbor radio station.
After the Decibels disbanded, Seger joined the Town Criers, a four-piece band with Seger on lead vocals, John Flis on bass, Pep Perrine on drums, and Larry Mason on lead guitar. The Town Criers, covering songs like "Louie Louie", began gaining a steady following. Meanwhile, Seger was listening to James Brown and said that, for him and his friends, Live at the Apollo was their favorite record following its release in 1963. Seger was also widely influenced by the music of The Beatles, once they hit American shores in 1964. In general, he and local musician friends such as future Eagle Glenn Frey bought into the premises of 1960s pop and rock radio, with its hook-driven hits; he later recalled he and Frey thinking at the time, "You’re nobody if you can’t get on the radio."
As the Town Criers began landing more gigs, Bob Seger met a man named Doug Brown, backed by a band called the Omens. Seger joined Doug Brown & the Omens, who presumably had a bigger following than the Town Criers. While Doug Brown was the primary lead vocalist for the group, Seger would take the lead on some songs—covering R&B numbers. It was with this group that Seger first appeared on an officially released recording: the 1965 single "TGIF" backed with "First Girl", credited to Doug Brown and the Omens. Seger later appeared on Doug Brown and the Omens' parody of Barry Sadler's song "Ballad of the Green Berets" which was re-titled "Ballad of the Yellow Beret" and mocked draft dodgers. Soon after its release, Sadler and his record label threatened Brown and his band with a lawsuit and the recording was withdrawn from the market.
While Bob was a member of the Omens, he met his longtime manager Edward "Punch" Andrews, who at the time was partnered with Dave Leone running the Hideout franchise, which consisted of two clubs where local acts would play and a small-scale record label. Seger began writing and producing for other acts that Punch was managing, such as the Mama Cats and the Mushrooms (with Frey). It was then when Seger and Doug Brown were approached by Punch and Leone to write a song for the Underdogs, another local band who recently had a hit with a song called "Man in the Glass". Seger contributed a song called "East Side Story", which ultimately proved to be a failure for the Underdogs.
Seger decided to record "East Side Story" himself, and officially left the Omens (though he did retain Doug Brown as a producer). As Bob Seger and the Last Heard, Seger released his version of the song with Hideout Records in January 1966, and it became his first big Detroit hit. The single (backed with "East Side Sound", an instrumental version of "East Side Story") sold 50,000 copies, mostly in the Detroit area, and led to a contract with Cameo-Parkway Records. Though the name "The Last Heard" originally referred to the collection of Omens and Town Criers who recorded "East Side Story" with Seger, it soon became the name of Seger's permanent band, which consisted of former Town Crier Pep Perrine on drums, Carl Lagassa on guitar, and Dan Honaker on bass. Following "East Side Story", the group released four more singles: the James Brown-inspired holiday single "Sock It to Me Santa", the Dylan-esque "Persecution Smith", "Vagrant Winter", and perhaps the most notable, "Heavy Music", released in 1967. "Heavy Music", which sold even more copies than "East Side Story", had potential to break out nationally when Cameo-Parkway suddenly went out of business. The song would stay in Seger's live act for many years to come.
After Cameo-Parkway folded, Seger and Punch began searching for a new label. In the spring of 1968, Bob Seger & the Last Heard signed with major label Capitol Records, turning down Motown Records, who offered more money than Capitol. Seger felt that Capitol was more appropriate for his genre than Motown.
Capitol changed the name of the band to the Bob Seger System. In the transition between labels, guitarist Carl Lagassa left the band and keyboard player Bob Schultz joined. The System's first single with Capitol was the anti-war message song "2 + 2 = ?", which reflected a marked change in Seger's political attitudes from "The Ballad of the Yellow Beret". The single was again a hit in Detroit, and hit number 1 on radio stations in Buffalo, New York and Orlando, Florida, but went unnoticed almost everywhere else, and failed to chart nationally in the US. The single did, however, make the Canadian national charts, peaking at #79.
The second single from The Bob Seger System was "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man". It was a hit in Michigan, but it also became Seger's first national hit, peaking at #17. The song's success led to the release of an album of the same title in 1969. The Ramblin' Gamblin' Man album reached #62 on the Billboard pop albums chart.
Seger was unable to follow up this success. For the next album, singer/songwriter Tom Neme joined The System, ultimately writing and singing the majority of the tunes featured, for which the group was heavily criticized. The album, called Noah, failed to chart at all, leading Seger to briefly quit the music industry and attend college. He returned the following year and put out the System's final album, 1970's Mongrel, this time without Tom Neme. Bob Schultz left the band as well, being replaced by Dan Watson. Mongrel, with the powerful single "Lucifer", was considered to be a strong album by many critics and Detroit fans, but failed to do well commercially.
After Mongrel failed to live-up to the success of Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, The System dissipated. For a short period of time following the breakup, Seger had ambitions to be a one-man act. In 1971, Seger released his first solo album, the all-acoustic Brand New Morning. The album was a commercial failure and led to Seger's departure from Capitol Records.
Seger, having regained an appreciation for backing bands, began playing with the duo Teegarden & Van Winkle, who in 1970 had a hit single with "God, Love and Rock & Roll". Together they recorded Smokin' O.P.'s, released on Punch Andrews' own Palladium Records. The album mainly consisted of covers, spawning a minor hit with a version of Tim Hardin's "If I Were a Carpenter" (#76 US), though it did feature "Someday", a new Seger original, and a re-release of "Heavy Music". The album reached 180 on the Billboard 200.
After spending the better part of 1972 touring with Teegarden & Van Winkle, Seger left the duo to put together a new backing band, referred to as both My Band and the Borneo Band, made up of musicians from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Jamie Oldaker, Dick Sims, and Marcy Levy were all members of My Band before joining Eric Clapton's backing band. In 1973, Seger put out Back in '72, recorded with a long list of known session musicians including the likes of J. J. Cale. The album featured the studio version of Seger's later live classic "Turn the Page;" "Rosalie", a song Seger wrote about CKLW music director Rosalie Trombley (and which was later recorded by Thin Lizzy); and "I've Been Working", a song originally by Van Morrison, a strong influence on Seger's musical development. Despite the strength of Seger's backup musicians, the album only reached 188 on the US charts and has since faded into obscurity. Even so, Back in '72 and its supporting tour mark the beginnings of Seger's long-time relationships with future Silver Bullet Band saxophonist Alto Reed, powerhouse female vocalist Shaun Murphy, and the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Over the tour, My Band would prove to be unreliable, which frustrated Seger. By the end of 1973, Seger had left My Band in search of a new backing band.
And here we stop on he bio. These lists are gonna only be the early period...about '65-'72.
Heavy Music (Part 1)-1967
Heavy Music (Part 2)- 1967
Brand New Morning-1971
East Side Sound-1966
East Side Story-1966
Follow The Children-1969
If I Were A Carpenter-1972
Jimpin' Humpin' Hip Hypocrite-1969
Leanin' on my dream-1970
Let It Rock-1972
Loneliness Is A Feeling-1969
Love The One You're With-1972
The Ballad Of The Yellow Beret-The Beach Bums 1965
The Last Song-1969