Steve Knight (musician)

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Steve Knight
Birth nameStephen Sanders Knight
Born(1935-05-12)12 May 1935
New York City, United States
Died19 January 2013(2013-01-19) (aged 77)
Riverdale, New York, US
GenresRock, jazz, Middle Eastern jazz, folk
Instrument(s)Keyboards, piano, bass guitar, trombone, guitar, tuba, banjo, organ, French horn

Stephen Sanders "Steve" Knight (12 May 1935 – 19 January 2013) was an American musician best known as the keyboardist for the rock band Mountain from 1969 until his departure in 1972.


Knight was born in New York to artist parents. From 1938–1950 his family lived in Woodstock, New York. In 1950, his father became a professor at Columbia University and moved the family to New York City. In 1952, Knight graduated from high school (New Lincoln School) and enrolled at Columbia later that year. He stayed at Columbia for most of the 1950s (1952–1959) studying art, music and psychology. He earned a B.S. degree majoring in psychology, and had one year of graduate work in psychology.[1]

From 1959 to 1968, Knight recorded with or was a member of various bands including the Feenjon Group, the Peacemakers, Devil's Anvil and Wings (not McCartney's group). In 1969, producer/vocalist/bassist Felix Pappalardi organized Mountain.[1] The initial line-up included Leslie West (guitar/vocals) and N.D. Smart (drums).[2] Prior to release of Mountain's debut album, Climbing!, Pappalardi, who had known Knight from prior musical affiliations, added him to the line-up on keyboards.[3] He performed with the band at Woodstock in August 1969. Later Corky Laing replaced Smart on drums.[2] The band enjoyed a great deal of recording and touring success in the early 1970s including 3 gold albums,[1] but called it quits in 1972.[2] Knight then returned to traditional jazz. For the next 25 years, Knight worked in specialty engineering (as a door engineer), and as a songwriter, author and part-time musician.[1]

In the mid-1990s, Knight left New York City and returned to Woodstock. In November 1999, he was elected to a seat on the Woodstock Town Board.[1] [4] He was re-elected to a second term in 2003. In 2007 Knight chose not to seek a third four-year term, instead choosing to focus on his personal life including several music projects.

Knight died 19 January 2013 in New York of complications from Parkinson's disease at the age of 77.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Steve Knight". Retrieved 17 October 2007.
  2. ^ a b c "Music DVD Review: Mountain – Live in Paris". BC Music. Archived from the original on 19 October 2007. Retrieved 17 October 2007.
  3. ^ "Mountain History". Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 17 October 2007.
  4. ^ "Town of Woodstock Supervisors and Town Board Members 1940–2005" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
  5. ^ "Stephen Sanders Knight Obituary: View Stephen Knight's Obituary". New York Times. Retrieved 22 July 2014.