Harrison Kennedy (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Harrison Kennedy
Born (1942-03-09) March 9, 1942 (age 76)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Genres Electric blues, R&B, soul blues
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, guitarist
Instruments Vocals, guitar, harmonica, mandolin
Years active Late 1960s–present
Labels Various including Electro-Fi Records
Associated acts Chairmen of the Board
Website Official website

Harrison Kennedy (born March 9, 1942) is a Black Canadian[1] electric blues, R&B, and soul blues, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is best known for being the lead vocalist on the Chairmen of the Board song, "Chairman of the Board",[2] but has had a varied solo career since the mid-1970s.[3] He was awarded the 2016 "Blues Album of the Year" Juno Award for his release, This Is From Here.[4] It was Kennedy's sixth nomination for that Award.[5] He is also a Blues Music Award,[6] and multiple Maple Blues Award nominee.[7]

Life and career[edit]

Harrison Kennedy was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.[3] His family had roots in New Orleans and Tennessee,.[8][9] Kennedy sang in the Stewart Memorial Church Choir as a boy, when childhood trips took him over the border to visit relations in Arkansas, Rogersville, Tennessee,[9] and Detroit, Illinois, United States, and all these experiences expanded his love of music.[6][10] in 1974

Kennedy relocated to Detroit and joined the Chairmen of the Board in 1970,[9] a group started as part of the then newly created Holland–Dozier–Holland record labels, Invictus Records and Hot Wax Records.[3] Kennedy played on the recording of Marvin Gaye's 1971 song, "What's Going On".[10] Following a string of hit records with Chairmen of the Board, which included "Give Me Just a Little More Time", "(You've Got Me) Dangling on a String", and "Everything's Tuesday", Kennedy left in 1974 and set out on a solo career.[9] Kennedy served with the United States Air Force and later worked for Allied Chemical Corporation.[9]

Over the years on a part-time basis he played a variety of musical genres including funk, soul, R&B, folk, rock, and gospel.[5][11] Kennedy spent almost 30 years outside of the music industry, before returning as a blues singer and guitarist with 2003's Sweet Taste.[12] In 2007, Kennedy signed a new recording contract with Electro-Fi Records and has since released a number of internationally acclaimed albums.[5] In 2008, Kennedy was nominated for Best Blues Recording in Canada's Juno Awards.[3] He separately achieved second place against 83 others in the solo/duo category at the 2011 International Blues Challenge.[13] In 2013 he also overcame a spell of prostate cancer.[14][15]

In 2013 he released Soulscape,[10] on which he played a variety of instruments,[16] which was followed by the Juno winning album, This Is From Here. It featured Colin Linden on several tracks,[5] from a total of six of which Kennedy wrote.[17] The album has also won the Grand Prix du Disque for Blues award from the Académie Charles Cros in France, as the 2015 Blues Album of the Year. Harrison toured in late 2014 with Ruthie Foster, Eric Bibb and Jerome Michael Brown.[5][18] He also appeared as a guest performer on Bibb's 2014 album, Blues People.[19]



Year Title Record label
1972 Hypnotic Music Invictus Records
1989 Live In The Eye The Independent Label
2003 Sweet Taste N/K
2005 Voice + Story Black & Tan Records
2007 High Country Blues Electro-Fi Records
2009 One Dog Barkin' Electro-Fi Records
2011 Shame the Devil Electro-Fi Records
2013 Soulscape Electro-Fi Records
2014 This Is From Here Electro-Fi Records


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Adrienne Shadd (2010-12-14). "The Journey from Tollgate to Parkway: African Canadians in Hamilton". Books.google.co.uk. p. 189. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  2. ^ "Chairmen Of The Board - Chairman Of The Board". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  3. ^ a b c d Chris True. "Harrison Kennedy | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  4. ^ "Junos award winners include Buffy Sainte-Marie, The Weeknd and Justin Bieber". CBC News, By David Bell, Apr 02, 2016
  5. ^ a b c d e "Harrison Kennedy". Harrisonkennedy.ca. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  6. ^ a b "2016 | Blues Album of the Year | Harrison Kennedy | The JUNO Awards". Junoawards.ca. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  7. ^ "Harrison Kennedy nominated for five blues awards". Thespec.com. 2015-10-31. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  8. ^ Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. p. 252. ISBN 978-0313344237.
  9. ^ a b c d e Bob L. Eagle; Eric S. LeBlanc. "Blues: A Regional Experience". Books.google.co.uk. p. 252. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  10. ^ a b c "Harrison Kennedy breathes blues on new album 'This is from Here' - Latest Hamilton news - CBC Hamilton". Cbc.ca. 2014-10-31. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  11. ^ "2008 Artists | Vancouver Folk Music Festival". Thefestival.bc.ca. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  12. ^ Stewart Mason. "High Country Blues - Harrison Kennedy | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  13. ^ "Past Artists — Bravo Niagara! Festival of the Arts". Bravoniagara.org. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  14. ^ "Virée Blues". Vireeblues.ca. 2015-02-25. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  15. ^ "Harrison Kennedy just wants a world with less hate". The Globe and Mail. 2013-11-15. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  16. ^ "HARRISON KENNEDY Soulscape - Blues Matters review". Bluesmatters.com. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  17. ^ "HARRISON KENNEDY This Is From Here". Bluesmatters.com. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  18. ^ "(Featuring Harrison Kennedy "This Is From Here")". Blues Underground Network. 2015-02-17. Archived from the original on 2016-06-11. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  19. ^ "Discography | Blues People | Eric Bibb - Official website". Eric Bibb. 2014-11-04. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  20. ^ "Harrison Kennedy | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-06-03.

External links[edit]