Singer-songwriter Bill Chinnock dies at 59 in Maine.
May 30, 2007
On Wednesday, March 7, Bill Chinnock passed away unexpectedly.
He will be deeply missed by all who loved him and his music.
First discovered by the legendary producer John Hammond, Sr. (who once dubbed him "the real essence of American music"), Bill's roots were in the blues as well as roots rock. He has toured with Albert King, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee, Willie Dixon, James Cotton, John Lee Hooker and many others fashioning his unique style of blues and roots music. He was a soulful singer, lyrical slide & electric guitarist, electrifying harmonica player and a consummate songwriter professing a style best described as "American Music",.... drawing on influences as strong and diverse as the country itself.
Moving to Maine in the 70's, fans along the East Coast knew Bill as "The Legend of the North Country," performing from Maine to Nashville and points in between. During his career, he has released 10 albums for major labels , received a Emmy Award for Musical Direction and Composition, sang a chart-topping duet with Roberta Flack that was used as a theme song for the soap opera, Guiding Light and has had his songs recorded by numerous artists including Deborah Coleman, Zora Young, Kenny Neal , Greg Ladanyi and others.
Roots-rock-blues guitarist, keyboardist and singer/songwriter Bill Chinnock was one of the early founders of the Asbury Park, New Jersey music scene. His earliest bands had some impressive members, including Danny Federici, Garry Tallent, Vini Lopez, and David Sancious, among others; when Chinnock moved to Maine, his former bandmates became the foundation for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.
Chinnock issued his debut Blues in 1975, followed in 1976 by Alive at the Loft. Badlands appeared two years later; after 1980's Dime Store Heroes, he remained silent until the release of 1985's Rock 'n' Roll Cowboys. Bill then released in 1987 " Learning To Survive In The Modern Age" followed by "Thunder In The Valley" on Atlantic.
Chinnock resurfaced in 1992 with "Out on the Borderline"; issued on his own label, East Point Records, it included keyboardist Chalmer Davis of Little Richard's band, as well as Doobie Brothers' drummer Michael Hossack, who also co-wrote the song "Take This Heart of Mine."
Chinnock received an Emmy Award in 1987 for Musical Direction and Composition for his song "Somewhere in the Night". More recently, Bill released a brand new CD titled "Livin In The Promised Land" on East Coast Records with longtime band mates Tony Smith on drums, John Kumnick on bass and Harry King on Keyboards.