Craig Allen says: Meet Greg Kihn
The Greg Kihn Band was started by front man Greg Kihn and bassist Steve Wright. And while the lineup has changed over the years, the band still tours (pre-COVID) today.
Greg Kihn began his musical career in Baltimore. He started writing songs and playing in the local coffee houses while in high school. At the age of 17, Kihn's mom entered one of his original songs in a talent contest sponsored by one of the local top-40 radio stations. Greg Kihn won...and was awarded a typewriter, a stack of records, and a Vox electric guitar.
Kihn moved to Berkeley, California in 1972. He took a job painting houses to pay the bills, while singing in the streets, and working behind the counter at a record store.
In 1973, Kihn was signed to Beserkley Records, and helped mold the company's overall sound: mellow pop, with a 1960's sound. His recorded debut occurred on a compilation album.
In the Bicentennial year (1976), Kihn recorded his first album with his own band, The Greg Kihn Band, made up of: Ronnie Dunbar (guitar), Steve Wright (bass), and Larry Lynch (drums). The band's lineup would change several times over the years to come.
Through the rest of the 1970's, the band would release an album each year...
...and built a following...
...through constant touring.
In 1981, Kihn snagged his first chart hit (#15/1981)...
...and one of "New Jersey's Greatest Hits" with "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)."
Check out Greg Kihn playing his first hit LIVE in New Jersey...
...at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, in 1984.
Back to the music timeline:
"Happy Man" (#62) and "Every Love Song" (#82) were released in 1982.
Kihn's music had a more commercial sound through the 1980's, with the pun-titled albums: Rockihnroll (1981), Kihntinued (1982), Kihnspiracy (1983), Kihntageous (1984)...
...and Citizen Kihn (1985).
Greg Kihn scored his biggest hit with "Jeopardy," (#2/1983).
The video was an MTV favorite, one of the first "concept" videos, with its "Night Of The Living Dead" theme.
Weird Al Yankovic spoofed Kihn's biggest hit, with "I Lost On Jeopardy."
Enjoy Greg Kihn's cameo in Weird Al's video.
Once again (above) Greg Kihn rocks New Jersey in 1984.
"Jeopardy" follow up releases included: "Love Never Fails" (#59/1983), "Lucky" (#30/1985), and "Love And Rock And Roll" (#92/1986).
Kihn continued to tour throughout the 1980's, opening arena-size shows for Journey, The Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, among others. He also appeared on TV shows of the time, including Solid Gold, American Bandstand, and Saturday Night Live.
Greg Kihn returned to Baltimore to record a pair of solo, acoustic albums: "Mutiny" (1994), and "Horror Show" in 1996.
The Greg Kihn Band continues (pre-COVID)...
...with a lineup that includes Greg's son, Ry Kihn, on lead guitar.
Greg Kihn was inducted into the San Jose (California) Rock Hall Of Fame in 2007.
In 2012, Kihn left the San Francisco radio airwaves after years of waking up at 4-am to do a morning show (I'm up even earlier than that, when I'm hosting a morning show, so I can...relate).
Check out Greg Kihn on Facebook, too. Click here.
Without a doubt, this Jersey driver...
...is a Greg Kihn fan.
We are, too, here at New Jersey 101.5 and nj1015.com.