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Danny O'Keefe

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Biography

Most closely associated with his 1972 Top Ten entry "Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues," singer/songwriter Danny O'Keefe was born and raised in Spokane, Washington, beginning his performing career on the Minnesota coffeehouse circuit of the mid-'60s. Through Buffalo Springfield manager Charles Greene, he landed a telephone audition with Atlantic Records honcho Ahmet Ertegun, signing with the label's Cotillion imprint to issue his self-titled 1971 debut LP. The follow-up, 1972's O'Keefe, yielded his lone hit, "Good Time Charlie," later covered by Elvis Presley and many others. Although 1973's Breezy Stories failed to capitalize on the commercial success of its predecessor, it did generate two of O'Keefe's best-known compositions, "Magdalena" and "Angel Spread Your Wings" (covered by Leo Sayer and Judy Collins, respectively). Following 1975's So Long Harry Truman, he jumped to Warner Bros. to issue 1977's American Roulette. Around this time, O'Keefe played a series of charity concerts for environmental causes, with his efforts culminating two decades later with the formation of his Songbird Foundation, a group dedicated to the protection of songbirds harmed by aggressive coffee-growing practices in Latin America. In 1984 he also founded his own record label, Coldwater, which released his album The Day to Day that year. Runnin' from the Devil, his first new studio album in well over a decade, appeared in early 2000. Don't Ask, a collaborative album with Bill Braun, arrived in 2003. Five years later O'Keefe released In Time, and in 2015 the singer/songwriter issued Light Leaves the West, which was produced by Gary Shelton. ~ Jason Ankeny
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