Rodney Marvin McKuen, 29 April 1933, Oakland, California, USA. One of the revered poets of the late 60s love generation, Rod McKuen is also a highly acclaimed singer, songwriter and soundtrack composer. He took a slow route to the top, performing various manual jobs as a young man and also serving two years as an infantryman in Korea. In the mid-50s McKuen embarked on both a pop career (Happy Is A Boy Named Me was released in the UK in 1957) and an attempted acting career, combining both by appearing as a musician in the rock n roll exploitation movie Rock, Pretty Baby in 1956. He also spent a spell as a vocalist for Lionel Hampton and a nightclub performer, before heading to Paris in the 60s. It was here, in the company of Jacques Brel and Charles Aznavour, that he began writing poetry in a free verse form very typical of the times. Described by Newsweek as the king of kitsch, McKuen became one of the few poets able to sell his...
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