John Kay (musician)

John Kay (musician)

Infobox Musical artist
Name = John Kay

Img_capt = John Kay at the 2007 Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival
Img_size = 300px
Landscape =
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Joachim Fritz Krauledat
Alias =
Born = birth date and age|1944|04|12
Died =
Origin = Tilsit, Germany
Instrument = Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Voice_type =
Genre = Rock
Occupation = Singer, songwriter, producer
Years_active = 1964 - present
Label = Dunhill Records Mums Records Epic Records MCA Records Mercury Records Attic Records Qwil Records I.R.S. Records K-Tel Records Winter Harvest Records CMC International Cannonball Records Rainman Records
Associated_acts = The Sparrows/The Sparrow
The John Kay Band
John Kay & Steppenwolf
URL = [ Official Site]
Current_members =
Past_members =
Notable_instruments = Rickenbacker 381

John Kay (born 12 April 1944 as Joachim Fritz Krauledat in Tilsit, East Prussia) is a German-born Canadian singer, songwriter and guitarist known as the front man of Steppenwolf.

In the Evacuation of East Prussia in early 1945, in harsh Winter conditions, his mother first had to flee with the baby boy from the advancing Soviet troops. In 1948, the two also fled from Arnstadt in the East German Soviet occupation zone to resettle in Hanover, West Germany (as recounted in his song "Renegade" on the album "Steppenwolf Seven"). Located in the British occupation zone, teen aged Joachim, suffering from eyesight problems, listened to music broadcast by the British Forces Broadcasting Service before his family moved to Canada in 1958.

He joined a blues rock and folk music group known as The Sparrows in 1965, which had moderate success in Canada before moving to California, augmenting its line-up and changing its name to Steppenwolf in 1967. With music that pioneered hard rock and heavy metal, Kay's Steppenwolf had international success with songs such as "Born to Be Wild", "Magic Carpet Ride", "Monster", "The Pusher", and "Rock Me". This was multiplied by the use of "Born to Be Wild" and "The Pusher" in the 1969 movie "Easy Rider".

Kay recorded both as a solo artist and with Steppenwolf during the late 1970s, and wrapped up Steppenwolf's 40th year of touring with a final gig in October 2007.

In 2004 he was inducted into [ Canada's Walk of Fame] , in recognition of his early years as a Canadian citizen and the beginnings of his musical career in Toronto. Whereas any celebrity that meets criteria can finance their way into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, inductees to Canada's Walk of Fame are only selected via a supervising committee. John Kay was present at the induction ceremony in Toronto, and reiterated his strong affection for Canada.

Kay suffers from increased sensitivity to light, so he wears his trademark sunglasses. He also has congenital achromatopsia, complete colorblindness, a defect of the eyes which causes legal blindness. Despite this condition, he is an avid videographer.

External links

* [ Steppenwolf's official website]
* [ Kay's Biography]
* [ John Kay & Company - The Lost Heritage Tapes] (CD 1997; recorded 1976, but previously unreleased)
* Matthias Greffrath, ZEITmagazin LEBEN, Nr. 8, 14.02.2008 [] (report from a childhood friend)

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