Blues from New Orleans Louisiana
Dr. John, (born Malcolm John Rebennack Jr on November 21, 1940, in New Orleans, Louisiana) is a colourful pianist, singer, and songwriter, whose music spans, and often combines, blues, boogie woogie, and rock and roll. Professor Longhair was an important influence on Rebennack.
His musical career began as a session musician in New Orleans in the 1950s. Early on he also played guitar and was often known as Mac Rebennack. He switched to the bass, and then the piano after his index finger was nearly shot off protecting his bandmate, Jesuit High School classmate, and longtime friend Ronnie Barron. He gained fame beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with music that combined New Orleans-style rhythm and blues with psychedelic rock and stage shows that bordered on voodoo religious ceremonies, including elaborate costumes and headdress. For a time he was billed as Doctor John, The Night Tripper. The name "Dr. John" came from a legendary Louisiana voodoo practitioner from the start of the 19th century.
He is perhaps best known for his 1973 hit song, "Right Place, Wrong Time", which reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. Dr. John has also done vocals for Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits' "Luv dat chicken..." jingle, as well as the theme song ("My Opinionation") for the early-1990s television sitcom Blossom. His movie credits include Martin Scorsese's documentary The Last Waltz (in which he joins The Band for a performance of his song "Such a Night") and Blues Brothers 2000 (in which he joins the fictional band The Louisiana Gator Boys to perform the song "New Orleans").
In September 2005 he performed Fats Domino's "Walkin' to New Orleans" to close the Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast telethon for relief of Hurricane Katrina, which had devastated his hometown of New Orleans and other areas. In November of 2005, he released a four-song EP, Sippiana Hericane, to benefit New Orleans Musicians Clinic, Salvation Army, and the Jazz Foundation of America. On February 5, 2006, he joined fellow New Orleans native Aaron Neville, Detroit resident Aretha Franklin and a 150 member choir for the national anthem at Super Bowl XL as part of a pre-game tribute to New Orleans. On February 8, 2006, he joined Allen Toussaint, Bonnie Raitt, The Edge, and Irma Thomas to perform "We Can Can" as the closing performance at the Grammy Awards.