Childhood & Early Life
Bob was born in Michigan to Stewart Seger, a medical technician and his wife Charlotte. He has one brother named George.
His father loved music and young Bob grew up listening to his father play various musical instruments. He was a big fan of Elvis Presley and Little Richard.
His parents had a troubled marriage and his father abandoned the family leaving his wife and kids to fend for themselves when Bob was just 10 years old.
He attended Pioneer High School and graduated in 1963.
Seger formed his first band “the Decibels” in 1961 while he was still in high school with two of his school mates Pete Stanger and H.B. Hunter.
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He joined the band Town Criers as the lead vocalist. The other members included John Flis, Pep Perrine and Larry Mason. This band became very popular locally and had a steady following.
He left Town Criers to join a bigger band called the Omens headed by musician Doug Brown. It was with this band that Seger got his first appearance on an officially released recording in 1965 with the single ‘TGIF’.
Seger and Doug Brown were approached by Edward “Punch” Andrews to write a song for the band Underdogs which Punch was managing. He also began writing and producing for the other bands managed by Punch before choosing him as his own manager.
He formed his backing band called The Last Heard consisting of his former band mate Pep Perrine, Carl Lagassa and Dan Honaker. He released ‘East Side Story’ with the band in 1966 which became a big hit in Detroit.
He released four more singles with The Last Heard, the most successful of which was ‘Heavy Music’, released in 1967. It became a top 100 hit in Canada. It went on to become one of Seger’s most loved songs.
Bob Seger and the Last Heard signed with the major label Capitol Records in 1968 and changed the name of the band to The Bob Seger System.
The band released its first album ‘Ramblin’ Gamblin Man’ in 1969. The album’s single of the same name became a major hit in Michigan.
Encouraged by their debut album’s success, they released another album ‘Noah’ the very same year. It failed to recreate the magic of its predecessor and Seger was bitterly disappointed with it.
The band’s third album, ‘Mongrel’, out in 1970, was also a commercial failure. Disheartened, Seger left the band in order to pursue a solo career.
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He released his debut solo album ‘Brand New Morning’ in 1971. This album too was a failure. The musician struggled for the next few years in search of the success which he felt had unfairly eluded him.
In 1974, he formed the band Silver Bullet and released the album ‘Beautiful Loser’ in 1975. The album was a moderate success and marked the comeback of the disillusioned musician.
He got his first big breakthrough in 1976 with the release of the album ‘Night Moves’. The album was a critical as well as a commercial success and gave his stagnant career a big boost.
In 1978, he brought out the album ‘Stranger in Town’ which became an instant hit. It contained the singles ‘Hollywood Night’ and ‘Still the Same’.
The iconic album ‘Against the Wind’, out in 1980, peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. It featured the hit singles ‘Against the Wind’ and ‘Fire Lake’.
Even though his music was a big success during the 1970s, he was not as prolific during the 1980s. He released only two albums during the decade—‘The Distance’ (1982) and ‘Like a Rock’ (1986)—both of which went Platinum in the U.S. and Canada.
After releasing just two albums during the 1990s, Seger took a decade long sabbatical from music to spend time with his family.
His latest studio album ‘Face the Promise’ was out in 2006 which featured at number four on the U.S. Billboard 200 and was certified platinum in the U.S.
His 1976 album ‘Night Moves’ was his first major big hit which made him a hugely popular rock star. The album went multi Platinum and spawned two Billboard Hot 100 hits.
The album ‘Stranger in Town’ was super hit and went multi-Platinum in the U.S and Canada, and was accredited Gold in the U.K. The single ‘Old Time Rock and Roll’ was listed among one of the Songs of the Century in 2001.
‘Against the Wind’ was his only album to ever reach number one spot in the U.S. Billboard 200, a position which it occupied for six weeks. It was accredited multi Platinum in both the U.S. and Canada.