Music of Florida
|Music of the United States|
The music of Florida has had many influences and the state has had an impact on many genres and produced many musicians.
Early recording industry
THE OUTLAWS - Tampa, FL In 1971 Henry Paul, a singer and guitarist who was born in New York but grew up in the Tampa area, returned from a stay in Greenwich Village NYC to form Sienna, which was more of a country rock outfit. He was joined by Monte Yoho and Frank O'Keefe. In 1972 Hughie Thomasson returned from a brief spell in New York where he'd been backing up folksinger Milton Carroll, joined up with Paul, Yoho and O'Keefe and Sienna became the reborn Outlaws. Billy Jones, who would sometimes show up to jam with the group on organ in 1971 and 1972, returned from a stint in Boulder, Colorado in 1973 and switched to guitar, giving birth to the band's first infamous guitar trio later dubbed "The Florida Guitar Army". O'Keefe left the group temporarily in 1973–74. Buzzy Meekins and another bassist named Rick stood in until he was able to return. In 1974 Charlie Brusco signed on as manager for The Outlaws. Alan Walden (brother of Capricorn Records founder Phil Walden) was told of the group by Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Ronnie Van Zant and he joined forces with Brusco as co-manager. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outlaws_(band)
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Jacksonville, FL Lynyrd Skynyrd (pronounced /ˌlɛnərd ˈskɪnərd/ len-ərd-skin-ərd) is an American rock band best known for popularizing the southern hard-rock genre during the 1970s. Originally formed in 1964 as The Noble Five in Jacksonville, Florida, the band rose to worldwide recognition on the basis of its driving live performances and signature tunes "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird". At the peak of their success, three members died in an airplane crash in 1977, putting an abrupt end to the band's most popular incarnation.
MOLLY HATCHET - Jacksonville, FL Based in Jacksonville, Florida, Molly Hatchet shared influences and inspiration with the most well-known act in the southern rock genre, Lynyrd Skynyrd, as well as another up-and-coming southern-rock act, .38 Special, who referred them to manager Pat Armstrong. Armstrong with partner Alan Walden had briefly been co-manager of Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1970. Armstrong signed Molly Hatchet and garnered the group a recording contract with Epic Records, bringing in Tom Werman as a producer. Werman had already worked with acts such as Cheap Trick and Ted Nugent. Ronnie Van Zant was slated to produce Molly Hatchet's first album, having helped in writing arrangements and directing rehearsals prior to his fatal airplane crash. Molly Hatchet actually cut their first demos in Lynyrd Skynyrd's 8-track recording studio using their equipment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molly_Hatchet
38 SPECIAL - Jacksonville, FL 38 Special (also written .38 Special or Thirty-Eight Special) is an American rock band that was formed by neighbourhood friends Don Barnes and Donnie Van Zant in 1974 in Jacksonville, Florida. The band's first two albums had a strong southern rock influence. By the early 1980s, 38 Special shifted to a more accessible arena rock style without abandoning its southern rock roots. This shift helped to usher in a string of successful albums and singles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/38_Special_(band)
THE STRANGER BAND - Tampabay FL 1) Stranger was formed in Florida, USA, during 1981 by Greg Billings (vocals), Ronnie Garvin (guitar), Tom (King) Cardenas (bass) and John Price (drums). Named “Lynxx” and then “Romeo” before settling on Stranger, the band was discovered by record producer Tom Werman (Cheap Trick, Ted Nugent & Mötley Crüe among others) and recorded their first nationally released album shortly after being signed to Epic Records/CBS Records in 1981, but received little record company support, promotion or publicity. Their self-titled first album contained the track “Swamp Woman” which arguably remains their most well known song which, along with the opening track “Jackie’s So Bad,” received moderate airplay on Florida radio and other markets throughout the U.S. The band toured the southeast and became the biggest drawing circuit club band ever. Stranger also opened shows nationally for Triumph, Quiet Riot, UFO, Skid Row, Aldo Nova, Eddie Money and many other big name acts of the time.  http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLj_4PNU6AeIwA7-QxtQClxw8zQbSv2q9v
The Miami recording industry began in the 1970s with Criteria Studios, which produced such noteworthy recordings as Rumours by Fleetwood Mac and Hotel California by The Eagles. Long-time local music entrepreneur Henry Stone and his label TK Records created the local indie scene in the 1970s. Also winter albums by Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, and Grand Funk Railroad, who were all Michigan bands down for the winters. T. K. Records produced the R&B group KC and the Sunshine Band along with soul singers Betty Wright, George McCrae and Jimmy "Bo" Horne as well as a number of minor soul and disco hits, many influenced by Caribbean music. In the 1970s and early 1980s Jacksonville saw a very active music recording scene with Southern rock bands such as Molly Hatchet, The Allman Brothers Band, 38 Special, The Outlaws, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Bellamy Brothers also recorded their style of country music in the mid to late 1970s. They originated from Darby, Florida, just north of Tampa in Pasco County.
Many underground rappers, like Trick Daddy, come from little-known cities & towns like Liberty City, an African-American and Latino neighbourhood in northern Miami. One other is the young Haitian-American rapper/producer Kidd Adamz from Scott Lake. Other mainstream South Florida rappers are Rick Ross, Krysis, Tone Ace Hood, Plies, Trina, Cool & Dre, Flo Rida, Jacki-O, and Stack$. North Florida also has rappers who have achieved success, though not at the rate of South Florida. To date, the only notable rappers from North Florida are T-Pain from Tallahassee, Florida and Khnum Muata ”STIC” Ibomu, better known by his stage name stic.man is an American rapper, activist and author known for his work as one half of the Political hip-hop duo Dead Prez with M-1. Orlando and Tampa have produced many rappers who are not in the mainstream. Underground artists/groups include Dynasty (Jakarta Records artist), Jinx, Laws (J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League artist), Citizen Prophet, Mike Mass, Aych, Gwan Massive, The Rukus, Mason Caine, Gemstar, Donnie Bravo & Hard Target, all hailing from the TampaHipHop scene (a music scene founded by the legendary Kenny K, then further nurtured & maintained by Tampa radio DJ/concert promoter DJ Sandman). Young Kropes, an underground artist from Lakeland Florida who has created a buzz among locals.
Artists such as Sammie, Kirby Maurier & Black Dada are from Florida. Sammie's hit song "I Like It" & Black Dada's "Imma Zoe" have reached Billboard's Top 100 Songs and have been broadcast on network television networks B.E.T., MTV & T.V. One. Another well known artist is Pleasure P
From Central Florida we have the Backstreet Boys who hailed from Orlando, Florida of the late 1990s and are still growing strong. We also have N'Sync who came from Orlando as well. N'Sync were formed in 1995-2002. We also have the girl group Exposé from the late 1980s.
There are many Latinos in Florida, and an especially high number of Cubans in cities like Miami. The regional Latin music industry includes a wide variety of traditional and popular Cuban styles, as well as other Latin music genres. The Cuban community has produced traditional performers like Cachao and Israel Kantor, as well as mainstream pop stars like Gloria Estefan. Estefan is the most famous musician to come from the Miami pop industry; others include Willie Chirino and Albita Rodríguez.
Miami bass is a booming, bass-heavy hip hop music that developed in the mid-1980s in Miami. Innovators on the scene included DJ Laz, while the scene eventually gained prominence through the Miami Bass group Luther Campbell's 2 Live Crew. The lyrics to Miami bass were often sexually explicit, and when 2 Live Crew began to achieve national attention, the words to their songs caused a controversy after several stores were prosecuted under obscenity laws for selling the disc, and members of 2 Live Crew were arrested for performing songs from the album Nasty As They Wanna Be. And Premier DJ, DJ Laz with many CDs on the market now.
Guitarist Tom Petty was born, and grew up, in Gainesville. Most of the members of three bands he recorded with - The Epics, The Heartbreakers, and Mudcrutch - were also from Florida, mainly from in and around Gainesville and North Florida.
A number of popular rock bands of the mid- to late-1990s got their start in Florida. Three of the most notable of these are Rock/Alternative/Post-Grunge band Matchbox Twenty, who originate from Orlando, and rock band Creed, who hail from Tallahassee and Sister Hazel from Gainesville, along with Mayday Parade.
Usually associated with what has become known as the new wave of popular alternative music is Chris Carrabba and his band, Dashboard Confessional from Boca Raton. Dashboard Confessional quickly became popular with their pop rock music in the early 2000s. His former band, Further Seems Forever, is also a popular indie rock band from Pompano Beach.
Marilyn Manson was created in the city of Fort Lauderdale, where they were discovered by Trent Reznor who went on to produce their debut album, "A Portrait of An American Family".
The band Less than Jake is from Gainesville, Fl.
A Day To Remember came from Ocala, Florida.
Florida is the home of several notable country musicians and musical acts.
Slim Whitman was born in Tampa and once played minor league baseball for the Plant City Berries.
The Bellamy Brothers, a duet act that hit number one on the country charts several times before topping the Billboard Pop chart with their cross-over hit "Let Your Love Flow" in 1976, also hail from Darby. Close friend Bobby Braddock, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame with multiple number ones to his credit, was born in Lakeland, in Polk County, and grew up in nearby Auburndale.
Kent Lavoie, better known by his stage name, Lobo, hit Number One on the Billboard Pop chart in 1971 with "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo". He was born in Tallahassee and grew up in Winter Haven. While attending the University of South Florida, Lavoie formed a band called The Rumors with Jim Stafford and Gram Parsons.
The still-influential Parsons was born in Winter Haven and attended exclusive The Bolles School in Jacksonville. He had a central role in the legendary rock-and-roll scene of the 1960s, being friends or collaborating on projects with notables from Mick Jagger to Linda Ronstadt to Johnny "Guitar" Watson to the Kingston Trio. He famously tried to rescue Michelle Phillips by helicopter from the mayhem at the notorious Altamont Music Festival in 1969. One of his songs is included in Gimme Shelter, a documentary about the events at Altamont. Parsons was a member of the legendary band The Byrds, and was also part of The Flying Burrito Brothers. Later, with some friends from Harvard University, he formed the folk/country band The International Submarine Band. Still later he toured extensively with Emmylou Harris before his death, at 26.
Jim Stafford, born in Eloise, grew up in Winter Haven, was a prominent country performer in the 1970s. He had his own television show, "The Jim Stafford Show" in 1975, as well as co-hosting Those Amazing Animals with Burgess Meredith and Priscilla Presley, and making regular guest appearances on The Tonight Show and other programs.
Florida has experienced periods in which punk rock flourished. Based in Gainesville, Fort Lauderdale/Miami, Tampa and other cities, hardcore punk gained a widespread following. One of the first bands in this style is believed to be Roach Motel of Gainesville, but The Eat, from Hialeah, had formed around 1978-79. Miami also was home to one of the first American punk bands to release an indy single, the Sex Pistols' influenced Critical Mass' Silver Screen in 1978 that's still in demand by collectors today. Rat Cafeteria (Tampa), Sector 4, Hated Youth, and Paisley Death Camp (all from Tallahassee), No Fraud (Venice), F (Fort Lauderdale), Morbid Opera (Miami) and Crucial Truth (Pompano Beach) also gained an audience and some had songs compiled on the album We Can't Help It If We're From Florida. The band F continues to play and release new material today (www.foff.net) and The Eat occasionally play shows in South Florida. A short-lived project that garnered a bit of national attention in the late 1990s was the Infamous Plastic People (featuring Mikee Plastik), that formed out of Brandon, FL. Newer bands like Mosquito Teeth from St. Petersburg, FL are keeping the local punk scene thriving with their silly antics and high energy performances.
Gainesville and Jacksonville had very active punk scenes in the 1990s. Less Than Jake is from Port Charlotte. Against Me! and Hot Water Music are from Gainesville, while Yellowcard, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Evergreen Terrace are from Jacksonville, and Fake Problems are from Naples. Other Hardcore, Post-Hardcore, and Metalcore bands from Florida include: Against All Authority, Anberlin, Underoath, Kids Like Us, Combatwoundedveteran, Poison the Well, Assholeparade, The Holy Mountain, and Shai Hulud.
Two early Florida Hard Core bands Rat Cafeteria and Declared Ungovernable have reformed and are now play shows again.
A lengthy documentary film called We Can't Help It If We're From Tampa was released in 2012 by author Tony Patino. The independently released film chronicles the birth of the punk rock scene in the Tampa Bay area, and features music, interviews, poster art and live footage from Tampa bands Rat Cafeteria, Pagan Faith, Jehovah's Sicknesses, No Fraud, Belching Penguin, Core Of Resistance, Guy Smiley, Blemish On Society, The People's Court, Corrupt Enforcement, Awake, and Slap Of Reality. It is available on DVD and digital download through several internet retailers.
Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is embedded in the culture of the state, especially in South Florida. Starting in the 1970s with acts like Jimmy Bo Horne and KC and The Sunshine Band, dance music coming out of Florida could be heard all over the world. With the demographics of South Florida being made up of Cuban, Haitian, and many other Afro-Caribbean cultures, Dance Music became very popular adopting a lot of the grooves and percussion from those cultures. Early on the dance scene in South Florida was mostly playing the EDM sub genres Disco, House, and Freestyle.
During the 1980s in Miami, particularly Miami Beach, the combination of clubs stay open till 5 AM and the glut of easily available drugs resulted in its dance scene beginning to get noticed internationally. In 1985 the Winter Music Conference, a yearly, week long dance music festival started in South Florida. The event has happened in Miami every since. Widely known as WMC, the festival coincides with Ultra Music Festival, another popular showcase of EDM music.
By the 1990s many local DJs and producers where getting noticed. Acts like Murk, aka Funky Green Dogs, Planet Soul, and DJs like Robbie Rivera, were all getting air play -- not just in Florida, but around the world. Other cities in Florida such as Tampa, Orlando, and Gainesville, also experienced a popularity in their own dance music. For example, Tampa and Orlando became known for its Breakbeat dance music, which is a sub genre of EDM.
Miami would wind up allowing its night clubs to stay open 24 hours on the weekend, thus increasing the demand for EDM. Clubs would regularly have internationally known DJs as well as local acts such as Ivano Belllini, Patrick M, and long list of others spin into the next day. Currently the EDM sub genres popular in South Florida in particular are Deep House, Tech House and Techno.
Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band ( Nuthin' Fancy )  is the top of the heap for Southern Rock tributes in the south east. Opening for Molly Hatchet and Marshall Tucker in Nov. 2011 they have enhanced their following at Biker festivals and top local bars. The group is based in Clearwater, Fla.
AC/DC tribute band HIGHWAY TO HELL  has led the pack playing many notable venues and festivals and sharing the stage with Brian Johnson and Cliff Williams of AC/DC in Sarasota, Florida in 2007 and were listed on the real AC/DC site for a large "AC/DC" festival they did in Peru in 2011. Another hard rock tribute to Van Halen called 1984  and Mötley Crüe tribute Carnival of Crue has emerged. These acts along with several others can be found here - ( Maximum Bands ) 
Some of the most successful tribute bands in Florida tend to be the contemporary acts because of the massive baby boomer population, like a Billy Joel tribute or a Jimmy Buffett show  or an Elton John tribute.
Indie bands Mortimer Nova, Surfer Blood, Iron & Wine, Copeland, The Drums, and Two Years Till Tomorrow are from Florida, as well as Fake Problems from Naples. In addition to the nationally recognized talent this area has produced, an indie/americana scene is also popular in and around the Central Florida area. Another Indie Florida band was The Generators from Orlando, active from 1985 to 1992. The Generators were included on Breakout USA a Best Unsigned Band C.D. issues by the Westwood Radio Network in 1990. The Generators went on to work with Chris Wardman (producer) and Swell Entertainment of Canada. They recorded and released one album for Capitol/EMI Canada titled "Now Available in Paperback". In the mid-2000s Electric President and Black Kids emerged from the Jacksonville Beach indie scene. Florida progressive rock/indie rock band Tides of Man have produced two albums and are currently signed to Rise Records from Portland, Oregon. Indie Band Food of the Future is from the Tampa area and was founded in 2010.
Tampa is also home to the infamous Morrisound Studios. Records such as Deicide's debut album, Deicide; Morbid Angel's debut album Altars of Madness, Scream Bloody Gore from Death, as well as many other death metal albums.
Also the metal band Savatage hails from the city of Tarpon Springs. Having produced many albums back in the early 1980s up to the death of co-founder and guitarist Criss Oliva in 1993, Savatage was one of the most successful underground bands to come out of Florida. Singer Jon Oliva went on to create the highly successful Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
- Unterberger, Richie (1999). Music USA: The Rough Guide. The Rough Guides. ISBN 1-85828-421-X.
1308 Productions: www.1308productions.org