Friday, July 12, 2013

July 12: keyboardist, and songwriter Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac is 70-years-old today.

Did you know?

Christine sang with Dennis Wilson in his song called "Love Surrounds Me" for The Beach Boys.


Christine McVie was born Christine Anne Perfect in Bouth, near Ulverston, Lancashire, England. Her father was a concert violinist and music lecturer at St Peter's College of Education, Saltley, Birmingham. Christine's mother was a medium, psychic, and faith healer. Her grandfather had been an organist at Westminster Abbey.

Although Christine was introduced to the piano at the age of four, it was not until age eleven that she studied music seriously, when she was re-introduced to the instrument by Philip Fisher, a local musician and school friend of her older brother John. Continuing her classical training until the age of fifteen, her musical focus made a radical shift to rock & roll when John brought home a Fats Domino songbook.

Christine studied sculpture and planned on being an art teacher. She met a number of budding musicians in Britain's blues scene. Her first foray into the music field didn't come until she met two friends, Stan Webb and Andy Silvester in a pub one night. At the time, they were playing in a band called "Sounds Of Blue."

In 1967, a friend told her that Silvester and Webb were forming a blues band and were looking for a pianist, and they invited her to play keyboards/piano and sing background vocals in their band Chicken Shack. Chicken Shack's first record release was "It's okay with me baby" written by and featuring Christine.

Christine stayed with Chicken Shack for two albums. Chicken Shack scored the British hit "I'd Rather Go Blind" with Christine on lead vocals. She was given a Melody Maker award for female vocalist for both 1969 and 1970 respectively, and she was lauded for having one of the "top 10 pairs of legs in all of Britain.”

Fleetwood Mac had asked Christine to play piano as a session musician for Peter Green's songs on the band's second album, Mr. Wonderful. After marrying Fleetwood Mac bass guitarist John McVie, she joined the band in 1970. She had already contributed backup vocals and painted the cover for Kiln House. she recorded a solo album, Christine Perfect; following her success as a member of Fleetwood Mac, the album was reissued under the name The Legendary Christine Perfect Album.

The early 1970s was a rocky time for the band, with a revolving door of musicians, and only the albums Bare Trees and Mystery to Me scoring any successes. In 1974, Christine reluctantly agreed to move with the rest of the band to the US and make a fresh start.

Within a year, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham of Buckingham Nicks joined the band, giving it an added dimension. Their first album together, 1975's Fleetwood Mac, had several hit songs, with Christine's "Over My Head" and "Say You Love Me,” both reaching Billboard's top-20 singles chart. It was "Over My Head" which first put Fleetwood Mac on American radio and into the national Top 20.

In 1976, Christine began an on-the-road affair with the band's lighting director, which inspired her to write "You Make Loving Fun,” a top-10 hit on the landmark smash Rumours, one of the best-selling albums of all-time. Her biggest hit was "Don't Stop,” which climbed all the way to #3.

The Rumours tour also included Christine's "Songbird,” a ballad played as the encore of many Fleetwood Mac concerts. By the end of the Rumours tour, the McVies had divorced.

The 1979 double album Tusk produced three more US top-20 hits including "Sara,” and Christine's "Think About Me," but it came nowhere near to matching the success of the Rumours album.

In 1984, Christine decided to record another solo album. She created hits with the songs "Got a Hold on Me" and "Love Will Show Us How." She also met keyboardist Eddy Quintela (12 years her junior), whom she married on October 18, 1986. Quintela would go on to co-write many songs with her that would be featured on subsequent Fleetwood Mac albums. The couple divorced in the mid-1990s. T

he members of the band seemed to have gone their separate ways until Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Lindsey Buckingham got together again for one of Lindsey Buckingham's solo projects. Christine McVie was soon asked to sing and play on some of the tracks. Once 4/5 of the Rumours-era band was reunited, the members decided a reunion was possible. Stevie Nicks was called out of premature retirement and the resulting live album, 1997's The Dance, went to #1 in the US album charts.

In 2004, Christine released her third solo album, In the Meantime. Recorded in her converted barn in Kent, Christine worked on the project with her nephew, Dan Perfect, who contributed guitar-playing, backing vocals, and songwriting.

She, as a member of Fleetwood Mac, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2006, Christine was awarded the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors' Gold Badge of Merit at a ceremony held in London.


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