March 9, 1942 |
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
|Genres||Electric blues, R&B, soul blues|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, harmonica, mandolin|
|Labels||Various including Electro-Fi Records|
|Chairmen of the Board|
Harrison Kennedy (born March 9, 1942) is a Black Canadianelectric blues, R&B, and soul blues, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is best known for being the lead vocalist on the Chairmen of the Board song, "Chairman of the Board", but has had a varied solo career since the mid-1970s. He was awarded the 2016 "Blues Album of the Year" Juno Award for his release, This Is From Here. It was Kennedy's sixth nomination for that Award. He is also a Blues Music Award, and multiple Maple Blues Award nominee.
Harrison Kennedy was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. His family had roots in New Orleans and Tennessee, and his uncle was the noted Canadian blues musician, Jackie Washington. Kennedy sang in the Stewart Memorial Church Choir as a boy, when childhood trips took him over the border to visit relations in Arkansas, Rogersville, Tennessee, and Detroit, Illinois, United States, and all these experiences expanded his love of music. in 1974
Kennedy relocated to Detroit and joined the Chairmen of the Board in 1970, a group started as part of the then newly created Holland-Dozier-Holland record labels, Invictus Records and Hot Wax Records. Kennedy played on the recording of Marvin Gaye's 1971 song, "What's Going On". Following a string of hit records with Chairmen of the Board, which included "Give Me Just a Little More Time", "(You've Got Me) Dangling on a String", and "Everything's Tuesday", Kennedy left in 1974 and set out on a solo career. Kennedy served with the United States Air Force and later worked for Allied Chemical Corporation.
Over the years on a part-time basis he played a variety of musical genres including funk, soul, R&B, folk, rock, and gospel. Kennedy spent almost 30 years outside of the music industry, before returning as a blues singer and guitarist with 2003's Sweet Taste. In 2007, Kennedy signed a new recording contract with Electro-Fi Records and has since released a number of internationally acclaimed albums. In 2008, Kennedy was nominated for Best Blues Recording in Canada's Juno Awards. He separately achieved second place against 83 others in the solo/duo category at the 2011 International Blues Challenge. In 2013 he also overcame a spell of prostate cancer.
In 2013 he released Soulscape, on which he played a variety of instruments, which was followed by the Juno winning album, This Is From Here. It featured Colin Linden on several tracks, from a total of six of which Kennedy wrote. The album has also won the Grand Prix du Disque for Blues award from the Académie Charles Cros in France, as the 2015 Blues Album of the Year. Harrison toured in late 2014 with Ruthie Foster, Eric Bibb and Jerome Michael Brown. He also appeared as a guest performer on Bibb's 2014 album, Blues People.
|1972||Hypnotic Music||Invictus Records|
|1989||Live In The Eye||The Independent Label|
|2005||Voice + Story||Black & Tan Records|
|2007||High Country Blues||Electro-Fi Records|
|2009||One Dog Barkin'||Electro-Fi Records|
|2011||Shame the Devil||Electro-Fi Records|
|2014||This Is From Here||Electro-Fi Records|