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|Genres:||Country & Bluegrass Easy Listening Electronic & Ambient Holiday & Seasonal Pop / Rock|
|Tags:||instrumental rock progressive rock guitar classic rock 60s classical blues|
|Decades:||1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
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24 August 1938, Abilene, Texas, USA. This Oklahoma City University mathematics student was a self-taught guitarist who, after moonlighting in local venues, toured North America with the Wayfarers Trio before enlistment in the US Navy. On demobilization, he peddled topical tunes on the Los Angeles folk club circuit where he met the Limeliters Glenn Yarbrough who introduced him to the Smothers Brothers. When this comedy duo began performing his compositions on their nationally broadcast television series, other acts - among them the Kingston Trio and Petula Clark - began recording his material. His most lucrative song was the 1968 novelty UK number 1 Cinderella Rockefella, (with Nancy Ames) for Esther And Abi Ofarim. That year, he enjoyed a million-seller in his own right with the Grammy Award-winning Classical Gas, an orchestrated instrumental (from The Mason Williams Phonograph Record song cycle).