If there is a single word to describe the musical career of Bob Seger it is â€œdurable.â€ For almost fifty years, Seger has been writing, playing and singing rock â€˜n roll tunes-everything from hard-driving rock to tender ballads.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1945, Seger moved to Ann Arbor as a young boy. He began singing at the age of four. His father (who played six instruments) bought him a bass ukulele, and Seger learned how to play it by the time he was ten. At the age of fifteen, Seger started writing songs and playing guitar. His first band, called the Decibels, played high school dances, parties and small clubs. In 1968, Seger and his band signed a major record contract. The following year, â€œRamblin’ Gamblin’ Manâ€ was Seger’s first national hit record.
Despite a big hit, Seger enjoyed only limited success. Critics suggested he was just a â€œone-hit wonder.â€ Seger was popular in the Midwest, especially Michigan, but as one observer wrote in 1976, â€œhe just doesn’t seem to be cutting itâ€ elsewhere in the nation. Despite these observations, Seger kept writing and singing songs–and things improved.
In a few years, Seger was back on the national scene with a series of hit records. The album Night Moves sold 6 million copies and was his first Top 10 album. Seger’s next album Against the Wind rose to number one on the Billboard 200 top album chart. Soon Seger’s songs (â€œOld Time Rock & Roll,â€ â€œLike a Rockâ€ and â€œShakedownâ€) appeared in movies and television commercials, giving him more national recognition.
In 2004, Seger, who took a decade off to raise a family, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Three years later, he released a new album and went on a national tour. Although older than most rock and rollers, Seger said it was â€œfun to go to work again.â€
Today, Seger still lives in Michigan. He has sold more than 50 million records and the Detroit Free Press called him Michigan â€˜s number one entertainer. When asked recently what he wanted to be remembered for, he said, â€œI held true to what I liked about music.â€
To learn more about Michigan’s music history call (800) 366-3703 or visit www.michiganhistorymagazine.com for more information.
Couldn’t resist, just for old times sake…
Sherman, to the wayback back machine….