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.
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 reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 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 Five on the Billboard Pop chart in 1971 with the soft rock song "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.
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.
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. His former band, Further Seems Forever, is also a popular indie rock band from Pompano Beach.
Rock recording industry
The Miami recording industry began in the 1970s with Criteria Studios, which produced the recordings Rumours by Fleetwood Mac and Hotel California by The Eagles. Henry Stone and his label TK Records supported the local indie scene in the 1970s. T. K. Records produced the R&B group KC and the Sunshine Band along with soul singers Betty Wright, George McCrae (who had a #1 Hot 100 hit with the disco song "Rock Your Baby" in 1974, the first disco song to become a #1 hit), 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.
In the 1960s Tampa, Florida was very active in the music recording industry. Mercy recorded a Jack Sigler, Jr. original entitled "Love (Can Make You Happy)" at the old Charles Fuller Studio on MacDill Avenue in Tampa. The Royal Guardsmen recorded “Snoopy Vs The Red Baron” at this same studio. Many bands used Charles Fuller Studios for their 45 records. The Tempests, a St Petersburg-based band, recorded and released "I Want You Only" and "I Want You To Know" on the Fuller label.
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
Florida has experienced periods in which punk rock flourished. An active scene of original Punk bands flourished in the Tampa/St. Pete area in the late 1970s, including bands such as The Straight Jackets, The Shades, the Jackers, Just Boys, The Art Holes, The Stick Figures, A New Personality and the Veal Rifles. 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.
Hardcore bands from Orlando 1983-1989 included: Dissent, Damage (U.S.), Zyklon-B (U.S.), The Bully Boys, Florida's Unwanted Children, Sewer Side Rouges, Declared Ungovernable, The Damn Maniacs, and The Genitorturers.
Gainesville and Jacksonville had very active punk scenes in the 1990s. Less Than Jake is from Port Charlotte. Against Me!, Hot Water Music, Section 8 and Unhinged 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, Brain Damage, Kids Like Us, Combatwoundedveteran, Poison the Well, Assholeparade, The Holy Mountain, A Day to Remember, Sleeping With Sirens and Shai Hulud.
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. Indie Band Food of the Future is from the Tampa area and was founded in 2010.
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.
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. And O-Town also from Orlando. All 3 were managed by Lou Pearlman. There's also Aaron Carter from Tampa, and singer/actress Mandy Moore from Orlando. We also have the girl group Exposé from the late 1980s (who had a #1 Hot 100 hit with "Seasons Change"), and Ariana Grande from Boca Raton.
In the 70s, KC and the Sunshine Band had 5 #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits including the disco song "Get Down Tonight". In the 80s, Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine had 3 #1 Hot 100 hits with "Anything for You". And Terence Trent D'Arby from Orlando had a #1 Hot 100 hit with "Wishing Well". In the 90s, Vanilla Ice had a #1 Hot 100 hit with "Ice Ice Baby". And Stevie B had a #1 Hot 100 hit with "Because I Love You (The Postman Song)". In the 00s, Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20, Creed (band), N'SYNC, Enrique Iglesias, Flo-Rida, T-Pain, and Jason Derulo all had a #1 Hot 100 hit. In the 2010s, Pitbull (rapper) has had 2 #1 Hot 100 hits with "Give Me Everything" and "Timber".
Many underground rappers, like Trick Daddy, come from little-known cities & towns like Liberty City, an African-American and Latino neighborhood 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 including T-Pain from Tallahassee, Florida and stic.man, Dead Prez with M-1. The Central Florida area such as Orlando with Wes Fif and Ill Essense.
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.
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 subgenres 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 subgenre 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 subgenres popular in South Florida in particular are Deep House, Tech House and Techno.
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. Singer Jon Oliva went on to create the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.