Gary Wright Biography

26 April 1945, Englewood, New Jersey, USA. Wright attracted the attention of Island Records label owner Chris Blackwell when his rock group, the New York Times, supported Traffic on a 1967 tour of Scandinavia. An accomplished singer, composer and keyboard player, Wright was invited to join UK signing Art, whose career was bereft of direction. The revitalized unit, renamed Spooky Tooth, enjoyed considerable acclaim before Wright, who drew an increasing share of the spotlight, left for a solo career in 1970. Having contributed to sessions by George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Badfinger, the artist formed Wonderwheel around Jerry Donahue (b. 24 September 1946, Manhattan, New York, USA; guitar), Archie Legget (bass) and Bryson Graham (drums). Mick Jones, Legget’s one-time colleague with French singer Johnny Hallyday, replaced Donahue prior to recording, but the ensuing releases failed to generate public interest. The group was disbanded in 1972 and while the bass player joined Kevin Ayers, the remaining trio became the core of a re-formed Spooky Tooth. Wright led the band for another two years before the name was finally put to rest. He resumed solo work with The Dream Weaver, a platinum-selling album which reached number 7 in the US chart, but this runaway success was not sustained. Despite an in-concert popularity, Light Of Smiles failed to reach the Top 20 while Touch And Gone and Heading Home missed the Top 100 altogether. The Right Place in 1981 was a much more satisfying and successful record although Wright appeared to disappear for a while. He devoted the next few years to bringing up his children as a single parent. During this time of semi-retirement he worked on a number of film music scores including Endangered Species but received a bigger profile when ‘Dream Weaver’ was used to great effect in Wayne’s World. He continues to record and has never ruled out the possibility of a Spooky Tooth reunion.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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