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Taj Mahal (Singer)
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    (May 17, 1942- )
    Born in Manhattan, New York
    Birth name was Henry St. Clair Fredericks Jr.
    Blues singer, musician and songwriter
    Plays guitar, piano, banjo, harmonica, ukelele and clarinet
    Formed the band Rising Sons with Ry Cooder (1964-66)
    Recorded the albums 'Taj Mahal' (1968), 'The Natch'l Blues' (1968), 'Giant Steps/De Old Folks at Home' (1969), 'Happy to Be Just Like I Am' (1971), 'Recycling the Blues & Other Related Stuff' (1972), 'Mo' Roots' (1974), 'Satisfied 'n' Tickled Too' (1976), 'Evolution' (1977), 'Shake Sugaree' (1988), 'Mule Bone' (1991), 'Dancing the Blues' (1993), 'Senor Blues' (1997), 'Hula Blues' (1998), 'Shoutin' in Key' (2000) and 'Maestro' (2008)
    Composed scores for the films 'Sounder' (1972), 'Brothers' (1977), 'Zebrahead' (1992) and 'Rose Wood' (1997)
    Appeared in the films 'Sounder' (1972), 'Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey' (1991), 'Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored' (1996), 'Six Days and Seven Nights' (1998), 'Songcatcher' (2000) and 'Blues Brothers 2000' (2000)
    Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame (2009)
    He named himself for a building after having a dream about India.
    His song 'Fishing Blues' was sued in commercials for Jimmy Carter's re-election campaign.
    Blues purists disdained his experiments with world music.
    He was sponsored by the State Department on a tour of Africa (1979).
    His version of 'She Caught the Katy' is the first song heard in 'The Blues Brothers.' (1980)
    He was described by 'The Rough Guide to Rock' as 'one of the first major artists, if not the very first one, to pursue the possibilities of world music.'
    He is a supporter of the Music Makers Relief Foundation, a nonprofit helping older blues artists continue to perform.

Credit: C. Fishel

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