Born: February 10, 1940; New York, NY
Died: June 7, 2009; Los Angeles, CA
Although he has spent most of his career as a pop singer, Kenny Rankin in the mid-'90s started emphasizing veteran standards in his performances and using jazz accompaniment. He is an unusual jazz singer, sticking to the lyrics of songs but improvising and constantly altering the notes.
In 1967, Rankin released his first album, Mind Dusters, which featured the soft rock hit "Peaceful." Over the course of the early '70s, Rankin slowlyRead more built up a following with a steady stream of records and performances that balanced originals, new songs, and standards. As the decade drew to a close, he began to return to his singer/songwriter roots, particularly on After the Roses, his 1980 debut for Atlantic Records. He continued to perform during the '80s, but he only recorded sporadically. In 1991, he recorded a pair of albums, Hiding in Myself and Because of You, for two separate labels. Three years later, he signed with Private Music and released Professional Dreamer, an album that found him concentrating on standards. That record was followed in 1997 by Here in My Heart, which had a Brazilian flavor. Throughout the rest of the '90s, Rankin focused on touring and, in 1999, he issued The Bottom Line Encore Collection, his first live recording in two decades. ~ Scott Yanow & Stephen Thomas Erlewine Read less