Born Clyde Jackson Browne in Heidelberg, Germany where his father was stationed in the military, Browne began performing professionally in the US in the 1970s.
In 1972, Browne released the album Jackson Browne, which included the piano-driven "Doctor My Eyes", which entered the Top Ten in the US singles chart. "Rock Me on the Water", from the same album, also gained considerable radio airplay, while "Jamaica Say You Will" and "Song for Adam" helped establish Browne's reputation.
Browne's album, The Pretender, was released during 1976, after the suicide of his first wife, Phyllis Major. The album features a mixture of styles, ranging from the Mariachi-inspired "Linda Paloma" to the country-driven "Your Bright Baby Blues" to the downbeat "Sleep's Dark and Silent Gate." "Here Come Those Tears Again" was co-written with Nancy Farnsworth, the mother of Browne's wife, after Phyllis' death.
By the mid 70s, Browne's compositions were known for their compelling melodies and insightful lyrics. In 1977, Browne began recording his next LP while on tour, and Running on Empty became his biggest commercial success. Breaking the usual conventions for a live album, Browne used new material for him and combined live concert performances with recordings made on buses, in hotel rooms, and back stage. Running on Empty contains many of his most popular songs, such as the title track, "The Road," "Rosie," and "The Load-Out/Stay."
In 2004, Browne was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by his friend Bruce Springsteen. 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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