Bruce Hornsby was born in Williamsburg, VA, and grew up in that combination
college town and tourist center, later attending the University of Miami and the
Berklee School of
Music. He then spent years playing in bars and sending demo tapes to record
companies. In 1980, he and his brother (and songwriting partner) John Hornsby
moved to Los Angeles, where they spent three years writing for 20th Century Fox.
Bruce Hornsby met
Huey Lewis, who would eventually produce him and record his material.
Bruce Hornsby finally signed his band,
the Range, to RCA in 1985.
Their debut album, The Way It Is, was released in August 1986. It eventually
produced three Top 20 hits, the biggest of which was the socially conscious "The
Way It Is," which featured
Bruce Hornsby's characteristically melodic right-hand piano runs. The album stayed
in the charts almost a year-and-a-half and sold two million copies.
Hornsby & the Range won the Best New Artist Grammy Award for 1986.
Bruce Hornsby's second album, Scenes From the Southside, was not as successful as
his debut, though it sold a million copies and produced the Top Ten single "The
Bruce Hornsby also began to make his mark as a songwriter for others:
Huey Lewis had a hit with his "Jacob's Ladder," as did
Don Henley with "The End of the Innocence."
Bruce Hornsby's third album, A Night on the Town (1990), found him trying to break
out of his signature sound into other areas. It was less successful than its
predecessors but, along with the pianist's extensive session work, it signaled
his determination to tackle new musical challenges.
Bruce Hornsby worked extensively as a producer and sideman in the early '90s,
notably doing temporary duty in
the Grateful Dead after their keyboardist,
Brent Mydland, died in July 1990, and producing a comeback album for
Leon Russell, an idol of
Bruce Hornsby's. He also became the father of twin sons. He finally turned in his
fourth album, Harbor Lights, for release in 1993. This solo album, which did not
feature his backup band,
the Range, went gold, and
Bruce Hornsby toured the U.S. and Canada through the end of the year. He followed
it with a similar effort, Hot House, in July 1995, returning three years later
with the double album Spirit Trail. Here Come the Noise Makers was issued in
fall 2000. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide
Contact Grabow for more information or to book
Bruce Hornsby for your next corporate or private event.