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Dr. John

From Academic Kids

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Drjohnm.jpg
Dr. John album cover

Dr. John, born Malcolm Rebennack (born November 21 1940 in New Orleans, Louisiana) is a colorful pianist, singer, and songwriter, whose music spans, and often combines, blues, boogie woogie, and rock and roll. Professor Longhair was an important influence on Rebennack.

His musical career began as a session musician in the New Orleans in the 1950s. Early on he also played guitar and was often known as Mac Rebennack. He switched to the piano after his index finger was nearly shot off protecting his bandmate, Jesuit High School classmate, and longtime friend Ronnie Barron. He gained fame beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with music that combined New Orleans-style rhythm and blues with psychedelic rock and stage shows that bordered on voodoo religious ceremonies, including elaborate costumes and headdress. For a time he was billed as "Doctor John, The Night Tripper". The name "Dr. John" came from a legendary Louisiana voodoo practitioner from the start of the 19th century.

He is perhaps best known for his 1973 song, "Right Place, Wrong Time." Dr. John has also done vocals for Popeye's Chicken's "Luv dat Chicken..." jingle, as well as the theme song for the television show Blossom. His movie credits include Martin Scorsese's documentary The Last Waltz (in which he joins The Band for a performance of his song "Such a Night") and Blues Brothers 2000 (in which he joins the fictional band The Louisiana Gator Boys to perform his song "New Orleans").

Further Reading

Under a Hoodoo Moon : the Life of Dr. John the Night Tripper by Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) and Jack Rummel (New York : St. Martin's Press, 1994, ISBN 0312105673)

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