Kim Fowley is a singer, songwriter and producer who influenced popular music in the 50's and 60's in different ways.
Kim Fowley was born in Los Angeles in 1939. His grandfather is composer Rudolf Friml, and his father, Douglas Fowley, played Doc on the television show The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. He attended University High School in LA with others that included Jan Berry and Dean Torrence, Nancy Sinatra, Sandra Dee and James Brolin. In the late 50's while still in his teens Kim worked in the music business in the Los Angeles area with notables such as Sandy Nelson, Bruce Johnston and Phil Spector, and sang with a group known as the Jayhawks. While working as a disc jockey in Idaho in 1959 he produced some of the first records recorded by Paul Revere and the Raiders. Back in Los Angeles he wrote Nut Rocker (adapted from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker) for B. Bumble and the Stingers and produced some other recognizable hits, including Alley-Oop, a #1 hit for the Hollywood Argyles in 1960, and Popsicles And Icicles, a number three hit for the Murmaids in late 1963/early 1964 that was written by David Gates.
This was the backdrop for a rather extensive career in entertainment for Kim Fowley. The mid-60's found him in the United Kingdom, working with P.J. Proby, making television appearances on Ready Steady Go, and producing records for artists that included Soft Machine, Family and Slade, among others. Back in the USA the hippy movement was getting underway and Fowley was right there, organizing love-ins; he recorded his first LP in 1967 Love Is Alive And Well. He sang back-up on Frank Zappa's Freak Out album, co-produced Jonathan Richman with John Cale, and produced artists that included Warren Zevon and Gene Vincent in the late 60's. Fowley was involved rather heavily with the punk rock movement.
Fowley continued in the same vain into the 70's. He produced records for Flash Cadillac & the Continental Kids. In 1976 he put together the all-girl group the Runaways along with Joan Jett. He continued producing and recording in the USA and the UK all through the decade, and released a great many singles under various names. Fowley also worked as a dancer and as an actor, as well as publishing his poetry. The 1980's and beyond found him doing work in Australia, gettng involved in filmmaking, and working on his autobiography, in addition to his continuing efforts in the music industry.
Kim spent time working inside as well as just outside the mainstream of American pop music. He is best remembered for his efforts with pop singles in the 60's and as the producer of the Runaways in the 1970's. In 2013 he is hosting a radio program on Sirius Satellite Radio. Work on his autobigraphy carries on.
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