Terry Callier

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About Terry Callier

Singer/songwriter Terry Callier became a cult hero in the ’70s with his mix of folk, R&B, jazz and rock flavours. Born in Chicago in 1945, he started making music as a teen in that city’s soul scene. But in the early-to-mid-’60s he crafted a pioneering blend of traditional tunes and a bold, improvisatory approach, paving the way for Fred Neil, Tim Buckley and others. He also had a short-lived, sadly unrecorded duo project with David Crosby during his brief time in New York. His debut was recorded in 1964, but the producer disappeared with the tapes, and the release was delayed until 1968, throwing a monkey wrench in his career. Callier bounced back in the early ’70s with classic albums like What Color Is Love and Occasional Rain that added a heady, spiritual, slightly psychedelic feel to his sound. A move to Elektra brought a more commercial R&B approach, but in the ’80s he quit music to raise his daughter. His return on 1998’s Timepeace revived his early-’70s sound but with a fresh feel, and Callier gained a new generation of fans who hailed him as an acid-jazz originator. He continued working and thriving until he died by cancer in 2012 at the age of 67.

Chicago, IL, United States
24 May 1945
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