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Gary Wright

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Biography

Most closely associated with his atmospheric 1976 smash "Dream Weaver," singer Gary Wright was born April 26, 1943 in Creskill, NJ; a former child actor who appeared on Broadway in a production of Fanny, he fronted a number of local rock bands during his high school years before turning his attention to psychology, completing his studies in Berlin at Frei University. In 1967, Wright's band, the New York Times, opened for Traffic, bringing him to the attention of Island Records honcho Chris Blackwell, who in turn introduced the singer to the members of the band Art; relocating to London, Wright joined the band, soon renamed Spooky Tooth and later emerging among the UK's premier hard rock outfits. When Spooky Tooth temporarily disbanded in 1970, Wright jumped ship to form Wonderwheel, concurrently playing keyboards on George Harrison's All Things Must Pass; the two eventually became close friends and collaborators, together taking a trip to India which inspired the mystical themes of Wright's subsequent solo efforts. He returned to Spooky Tooth in 1973, but when the band again dissolved the following year he returned to his solo career, scoring his greatest success with 1975's The Dream Weaver; both the title track and "Love Is Alive" reached number two on the Billboard pop charts, and the album -- one of the first created solely via synthesizer technology -- achieved platinum status. Follow-ups including Light of Smiles, 1977's Touch and Gone, and 1979's Headin' Home failed to repeat The Dream Weaver's success, however, and in 1981 Wright notched his final chart hit with "Really Wanna Know You," from The Right Place. From there he composed a series of film scores, including 1985's Fire and Ice, which topped the German charts; Wright's first solo album in seven years, Who Am I, featured contributions from Indian classical greats Lakshmi Shankar and L. Subramanium. In 1991, he remade "Dream Weaver" for the soundtrack of the hit film comedy Wayne's World, and in 1995 issued his first world music effort, First Signs of Life. Human Love followed five years later. ~ Jason Ankeny
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