Saturday, June 8, 2013

June 8: Boz Scaggs is 69-years-old today.

William Royce "Boz" Scaggs was born in Canton, Ohio. His family moved to McAlester, Oklahoma, then to Plano, Texas. A schoolmate at St. Marks in Dallas gave him the nickname "Bosley"; this was later shortened to "Boz."

After learning guitar at the age of 12, he met Steve Miller at St. Mark's. In 1959, he became the vocalist for Miller's band, The Marksmen. The pair later attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison together, playing in blues bands like The Ardells and The Fabulous Knight Trains.

Leaving school, Scaggs briefly joined the burgeoning rhythm and blues scene in London. After singing in bands such as The Wigs and Mother Earth, he traveled to Sweden as a solo performer, and in 1965 recorded his solo debut album, Boz.

Scaggs also had a brief stint with the band The Other Side with Mac MacLeod and fellow American Jack Downing.
Returning to the U.S., Scaggs headed for the booming psychedelic music center of San Francisco in 1967.

Linking up with Steve Miller again, he appeared on the Steve Miller Band's first two albums, Children of the Future and Sailor. After being spotted by Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, Scaggs secured a solo contract with Atlantic Records in 1968, releasing his second album, Boz Scaggs soon after.


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Silk Degrees (Exp)

Despite good reviews, his sole Atlantic album, Boz Scaggs, featuring the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and session guitarist Duane Allman, performing Fenton Robinson's "Loan Me A Dime," achieved only moderate sales, as did follow-up albums on Columbia Records.

In 1976, he linked up with session musicians who would later form Toto and recorded his smash album Silk Degrees. The album reached #2 on the US Billboard 200, and #1 in a number of countries across the world, spawning three hit singles: "Lowdown," "Lido Shuffle," and "What Can I Say," as well as the standard "We're All Alone." 

"Lowdown" sold over one million copies in the US. A sellout world tour followed, but his follow-up album, the 1977 Down Two Then Left, did not fare as well commercially as Silk Degrees.

The 1980 album Middle Man spawned two top 20 hits, "Breakdown Dead Ahead" and "Jojo," and Scaggs enjoyed two more hits in 1980-81,"Look What You've Done to Me" from the Urban Cowboy soundtrack, and "Miss Sun" from a greatest hits set.

Scaggs continued to record and tour sporadically throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and for a time was semi-retired from the music industry. He opened the San Francisco nightclub, Slim's, in 1988, and remains a co-owner as of 2008. His next LP, Other Roads, did not appear until 1988. "Heart of Mine" from Other Roads, is Scaggs' last Top 40 hit.

After Other Roads, Scaggs took another hiatus and then came back with Some Change in 1994. He released Come On Home, an album of blues, and My Time, an anthology in the late 1990s. He garnered good reviews with Dig although the CD, which was released on September 11, 2001...

In May 2003, Scaggs released But Beautiful, a collection of jazz standards that debuted at #1 on the jazz chart.

Scaggs tours each summer, remains popular in Japan, and released a DVD and a live CD in 2004. Other releases followed. In 2008, Scaggs undertook an expanded tour across the U.S.

In summer 2010, Scaggs began a tour with Donald Fagen and Michael McDonald. They performed together billed as The Dukes of September Rhythm Revue. The show included classic rock, soul/R&B songs by various artists and personal repertoire songs from all three headliners.

Scaggs and his wife Dominique grow grapes in Napa County, California, and have produced their own wine. Scaggs' son, Austin Scaggs, is a music journalist with a column called "The Smoking Section" in Rolling Stone.

For more about Boz, visit his Website at -

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