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JACKSON BROWNE
Singer, Songwriter, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee

Clyde Jackson Browne (born October 9, 1948) is an American rock singer-songwriter and musician. His introspective lyrics defined his music of the late 1960s and early 1970, studies of personal exploration, soul-searching, and despair set against a decaying society, and the voice of a generation.

Jackson Brown is another GI kid who took the music industry by storm.

Browne was born in Heidelberg, Germany, where his father, an American serviceman, was stationed. He moved to the Highland Park district of Los Angeles, California, at an early age and began singing folk music in local venues. In 1966, he joined the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

A gifted songwriter, Browne's songs were performed by Joan Baez, Tom Rush, The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, the Byrds and Steve Noonan, among others. After moving to Greenwich Village, New York, Browne was briefly in Tim Buckley's back-up band. He also worked on Nico's Chelsea Girl, both by playing guitar and penning the classic song "These Days."

In 1971, Browne signed with Asylum Records and released Jackson Browne (1972), which included the piano-driven "Doctor My Eyes", a Top 10 hit in the US singles chart. "Rock Me on the Water", from the same album, "Jamaica Say You Will" and "Song for Adam" helped establish Browne's reputation as a versatile and original writer with romantic flair.

His next album, For Everyman (1973) sold a million copies. The upbeat "Take It Easy," co-written with The Eagles' Glenn Frey, had already been a big hit for that group, while "These Days" (actually written by Browne and first recorded by Nico in 1967) captured the essence of Browne's youthful angst. Late for the Sky (1974) consolidated Browne's following. Highlights included the title song, "For a Dancer" and the apocalyptic "Before the Deluge." The title track was also featured in Martin Scorsese's film Taxi Driver. Around this time, Browne began his professional relationship with singer/songwriter Warren Zevon.

The Pretender, which is arguably his darkest and yet musically and lyrically his brightest album, was released in 1976. The album features strong production and a mixture of styles, ranging from peppiness of "Linda Paloma" to the country-driven "Your Bright Baby Blues" to the sadness of "Sleep's Dark and Silent Gate". The title track "The Pretender" is Browne's a vivid account of romanticism losing the battle with the realities of day-to-day life.

By then, Browne's work had gained a reputation for its compelling melodies, clear, honest, and insightful lyrics, and a flair for composition rarely seen in the world of rock and roll. He was often referred to as "a thinking man's rock star."

Browne began recording his next LP while on tour, and Running on Empty (1977) became his biggest commercial success. Running on Empty contains many renowned songs, such as the title track, "Running on Empty", "The Road, "Rosie", and "The Load-Out/Stay" (Browne's affectionate and knowing send-off to his concert audiences and roadies).

Shortly after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in March 1979, Browne joined with several musician-friends to found the anti-nuclear organization, Musicians United for Safe Energy. His next album, Hold Out (1980), was commercially successful. The following year he released the single "Somebody's Baby" from the Fast Times at Ridgemont High soundtrack, which became his biggest hit, peaking at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. The 1983 Lawyers in Love followed.

Political protest came to Browne's music in the 1986 album, Lives in the Balance, a protest against U.S.-backed wars in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. The song was used at several points in the award-winning 1987 PBS documentary, The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis, by journalist Bill Moyers, and was part of the soundtrack of Stone's War, a 1986 Miami Vice episode focusing on American involvement in Central America.

During the 1980s, Browne frequently performed at benefit concerts for causes he believed in, including Farm Aid; Amnesty International (making several appearances on the 1986 A Conspiracy of Hope Tour); post-Somoza, revolutionary Nicaragua; and the Christic Institute. The album, World in Motion, released in 1989 contains a cover of Steve Van Zandt's "I am a Patriot," a song which he has performed at numerous concerts.

In 1995 he performed in The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True a musical performance of the popular story at Lincoln Center to benefit the Children's Defense Fund. The performance was originally broadcast on Turner Network Television (TNT), and issued on CD and video in 1996.

In 2004, Browne was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by fellow American musical artist and good friend, Bruce Springsteen. In the same year, Browne received an honorary Doctorate of Music from Los Angeles' Occidental College for "a remarkable musical career that has successfully combined an intensely personal artistry with a broader vision of social change and justice.



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