10 important musicians you didn’t know were from New Jersey
We know that so many famous people got their start in New Jersey. Being so close to New York City, Jersey is a perfect incubator for actors who can run in and out of New York City, auditioning for films, TV and Broadway shows.
And of course, everybody knows the big ones: Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, etc., but I’m not sure if you know just how many talented musicians New Jersey gave birth to.
Ranker.com posted a lot of guitarists who hail from NJ that I had no idea about. I rounded up some of the more prominent ones.
And while many of them are not actually superstars, they have definitely made a significant contribution to the music industry in some major rock bands.
With this many musicians from Jersey, we need our own New Jersey rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Fame.
Paul Simon — Newark
I really don’t need to tell you who it is but just in case, he was half of Simon and Garfunkel which he formed in 1956 with art Garfunkel. Simon was responsible for writing almost every one of their songs including three that reached number one : “The Sound of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson", and "Bridge over Troubled Water".The duo split up in 1970 at the height of their popularity.
Zakk Wylde — Bayonne
He was the lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and as the founder, lead singer, and guitarist of the heavy metal band Black Label Society. His signature bull’s-eye design appears on many of his guitars and is widely recognized.
Ricky Nelson — Teaneck
Pop star, musician, and singer-songwriter, he starred alongside his family in the radio and television series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. As one of the top "teen idols" of the 1950s, He placed 53 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, and its predecessors, between 1957 and 1973, including "Poor Little Fool" in 1958, which was the first #1 song on Billboard magazine's then-newly created Hot 100 chart.
Clint Black — Long Branch
Who knew? Clint Black, American country music singer, songwriter, musician, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and actor is originally from the Garden stage! Signed to RCA Records in 1989, Black's debut album Killin' Time produced four straight number one singles on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts. Black Charted into the 2000s.
Dave Sabo—Perth Amboy
Nicknamed “the Snake,” David Michael Sabo (born September 16, 1964) is an American guitarist who plays in the American metal band, Skid Row. He is co-guitarist with Scotti Hill.
Dean Friedman — Paramus
Dean Friedman (born May 23, 1955) is an American singer-songwriter who plays piano, keyboard, guitar and other instruments, including the harmonica. His 1977 hit song “Ariel” reached number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and stayed on the chart for five months. Although considered a one-hit wonder in the US, he has had multiple singles chart in other territories.
Frank Iero — Belleville
Frank Anthony Thomas Iero, Jr. (born October 31, 1981) was the rhythm guitarist and backup vocalist of the rock band My Chemical Romance.
Glenn Goins — Plainfield
Also known as Glen Goins, was a singer and guitarist for the legendary Parliament-Funkadelic in the mid-1970s. Goins is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, posthumously inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.
Dean DeLeo — Montclair
Born August 23, 1961, in Montclair and raised in Point Pleasant Beach, the guitarist and songwriter is known for his work with rock band Stone Temple Pilots. His baby brother, Robert, plays bass for the band.
Robert Finck — Park Ridge
Robert John "Robin" Finck is one of only a few artists who has played in two different bands listed on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock": Nine Inch Nails (ranked no. 43) and Guns N' Roses (ranked no. 9).
Claydes Charles Smith — Jersey City
Was the co-founder and lead guitarist of the group Kool & the Gang. Born in Jersey City, Died in Maplewood, buried in Westfield, he was a Jersey guy from cradle to grave.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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