Jonathan Cain

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Jonathan Cain
Cain in 2007
Background information
Birth name Jonathan Leonard Friga
Born (1950-02-26) February 26, 1950 (age 67)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Hard rock, pop rock, progressive rock, smooth jazz, contemporary worship music
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter, producer
Instruments Vocals, keyboards, guitar
Years active 1974–present
Associated acts
Notable instruments

Jonathan Cain (born Jonathan Leonard Friga; February 26, 1950) is an American musician, singer and songwriter best known for his work with The Babys, Journey and Bad English. Cain was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Journey on April 7, 2017.[1]

Early life[edit]

Cain was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Leonard and Nancy Friga. At the age of eight Cain began accordion lessons, and by the time he was in his teens he was playing accordion and piano at parties and in clubs. He also plays guitar, bass and harmonica. Cain was a survivor of the Our Lady of the Angels School Fire of 1958, in which 92 students and 3 nuns died.[2] In 1968 Cain graduated from East Leyden High School in the Chicago suburb of Franklin Park, Illinois and later attended the Chicago Conservatory of Music before moving to Nashville, Tennessee, and eventually to Los Angeles, California.[3]


In 1976, Cain released his first record as the Jonathan Cain Band, Windy City Breakdown, on Bearsville Records. In 1979, he joined The Babys, appearing on their albums Union Jacks and On the Edge. In 1980 Cain left The Babys to join the rock band Journey, taking Gregg Rolie's place on keyboards. Cain aided Journey's rise to the top of the charts with his first collaborations on the album Escape, composing and playing the piano on songs such as "Don't Stop Believin'", described by Allmusic as "one of the best opening keyboard riffs in rock".[4] Perhaps his most notable contribution was as sole author of the classic Journey ballad "Faithfully", a song about life on the road while in a band. Cain would go on to appear on at least 13 other Journey albums and compilations.

The song "Working Class Man" sung by Jimmy Barnes is one of Cain's compositions and is considered to be Barnes' signature song.

Cain reunited with former Babys bandmates John Waite and Ricky Phillips, fellow Journey bandmate Neal Schon, and (former,ex) future Journey drummer Deen Castronovo to form the band Bad English. The band released two albums before disbanding in the early 1990s.

In 1996, the Journey lineup from the album Escape was reunited. They reformed and recorded the album Trial by Fire. Steve Perry then left the band again in 1998, after suffering a hip injury, while hiking in Hawaii, that required surgery. Journey has continued on with three subsequent lead singers, Steve Augeri from 1998 to 2006, Jeff Scott Soto from 2006 to 2007, and current frontman Arnel Pineda from 2007 to the present.

Cain is known to perform a piano solo at every Journey concert, usually right before the band performs "Open Arms". He started this tradition when Steve Augeri joined the band in 1998. He usually plays exactly the same solo at every concert on a tour, and has changed the solo he performs only four times, in 1998, 2003, 2009, and 2011.

In addition to his work with Journey, Cain has released eight solo albums and contributed to solo albums by fellow Journey member Neal Schon.

Personal life[edit]

Cain has married three times. His first wife was singer Tané McClure for whom he wrote the hit song Faithfully. In 1989 he married his second wife, Elizabeth Yvette Fullerton, with whom he has three children: Madison (1993) and twins Liza and Weston (1996). In April 2015 he married minister Paula White.[5] He has built a recording studio called Addiction Sound in Nashville, and currently resides in Apopka, Florida.

Solo discography[edit]

  • Windy City Breakdown (1977) Bearsville/Wounded Bird Records.
  • Back to the Innocence (1995) Intersound Records.
  • Piano with a View (1995) Higher Octave Records.
  • Body Language (1997) Higher Octave Records.
  • For a Lifetime (1998) Higher Octave Records.
  • Namaste (2001) Wildhorse Records.
  • Anthology (2001) One Way Records.
  • Animated Movie Love Songs (2002) One Way Records.
  • Bare Bones (2004) AAO Records.
  • Where I Live (2006) AAO Records.
  • What God Wants to Hear (2016) Identity Records.


He has received two BMI songwriter awards, both for songs co-written with Steve Perry, "Open Arms" and "Who's Crying Now". The Journey song, "When You Love a Woman", which he co-wrote with Perry and Schon, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1997.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Inductees: Journey". Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved 20 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "The Jonathan Cain Picture Pages". Retrieved 6 June 2017. 
  3. ^[dead link]
  4. ^ Allmusic
  5. ^ "Megachurch pastor Paula White marries 'Don't Stop Believin' rocker Jonathan Cain - Christian News on Christian Today". Retrieved 6 June 2017. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Stevie Roseman
Journey keyboardist
1980 – present
Succeeded by