Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 5 Feb. '44, Brooklyn, NY) Singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboards. Major rock figure of '60s-- 70s. Joined Royal Teens at 15 after their novelty no. 3 hit 'Short Shorts' '58; became session musician; dropped out of U of Bridgeport; back in NYC on odd jobs at Adelphi studios and sessions; co-wrote 'This Diamond Ring', no. 1 for Gary Lewis and the Playboys '65, but garnered more attention that year playing organ on Bob Dylan's 'Like A Rolling Stone', LP Highway 61 Revisited, appearing with him at Newport Folk Festival (later worked on Blonde On Blonde and New Morning); formed Blues Project with Steve Katz: LPs Live At Café Au Go-Go '66, Projections '67, Blues Project At Town Hall '67. Formed group Blood Sweat and Tears with Katz; prod. first LP Child Is Father To The Man '68, left as they achieved commercial success. Staff prod. at CBS; worked with Don Ellis, Appaloosa etc.; prod. and played on enormously successful Super Session LP '68 with Stephen Stills and Mike Bloomfield, so laid back that it's hard to see now what the fuss was about. Also Live Adventures Of Mike Bloomfield And Al Kooper, solo sets I Stand Alone, You Never Know Who Your Friends Are, all '69; also guested on Rolling Stones' Let It Bleed, Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland. Kooper Session incl. 15-year-old Shuggie Otis '70; Easy Does It '70 was two-disc set; The Landlord was a film soundtrack; New York City '71 recorded partly in London; A Possible Projection Of The Future '72, Naked Songs '72, Unclaimed Freight '75; all except Landlord (United Artists) on CBS. In '73 played on revived Blues Project's Reunion In Central Park on MCA; Act Like Nothing's Wrong '76 on UA first new solo LP in three years, appeared nude on sleeve. From mid-'70s concentrated more on production; helped with Lynyrd Skynyrd's first three LPs '74--5; the Tubes debut LP '75; Nils Lofgren's Cry Tough '76; Eddie and the Hot Rods' Fish And Chips, released by EMI '80 but recorded much earlier. Took part in Blues Project reunion NYC St Patrick's Day '81; later that year toured with Dylan. On some records used pseudonym Roosevelt Gook. Autobiography Backstage Pass '76. Two-CD Soul Of A Man: Al Kooper Live on MusicMasters '95.