Happy birthday Chris Isaak!

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Chris Isaak (born June 26, 1956) is an American rock musician and actor. His music is known for its rockabilly style. His best known song is "Wicked Game," which was featured in the David Lynch film Wild at Heart (1989). He has performed alongside Roy Orbison and other major figures of the Americana genre. He has appeared in several films and starred in two of his own television shows.


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Isaak was born in Stockton, California to Dorothy and Joe Isaak. His mother is an Italian American from Genoa, Italy who worked in a potato chip factory. His father was German American forklift operator. During his youth growing up in Stockton, Isaak was very successful in school—he was class president his first three years of high school and student body president his senior year. (Image source)

Isaak found early inspiration in country music. His father listened to Hank Williams. He also became a big fan of Elvis Presley, an artist who would influence his work throughout his career. As a teenager, Isaak borrowed his brother's guitar and learned how to play. After attending the University of the Pacific, he moved to San Francisco in 1980.

Isaak and his rockabilly-style band Silvertone made the rounds playing every Bay Area bar. In 1984, Isaak was finally signed to Warner Bros. In 1985, he released his debut album, Silvertone. The album received some key approval—that of John Fogerty and of other important Americana musicians. He and his bandmates, Kenney Dale Johnson and bassist Rowland Salley, earned a reputation as crowd pleasers.

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But it wasn't until 1987 that Isaak made the name for himself that he enjoys today. His sophomore album, Chris Isaak, was an instant hit in the U.S. and overseas. Not long after, Roy Orbison invited Isaak to be the opening act on his tour.

The end of the 1980s marked Isaak's entry into the world of acting. He played a clown in Married to the Mob (1988) alongside Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Modine.

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In 1989, Isaak released his third album, Heart Shaped World, featuring his best known song, "Wicked Game." An acoustic version of the song was used in David Lynch's Wild at Heart (1991). Soon, Isaak appeared in a music video for the song by Herb Ritts alongside model Helena Christensen. The provocative video was an international hit and catapulted Isaak to the status of sex symbol.

Isaak went on to appear in other films including Silence of the Lambs (1991), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992), and Little Buddha (1993).

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The mid 1990s were also a time of success for Isaak. His album San Francisco Days (1993) mirrored his earlier successes with the song "Can't Do a Thing (To Stop Me)." In 1995, he released Forever Blue (1995), which, along with the song "Somebody's Crying," was nominated for a Grammy.

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After releasing the album Baja Sessions (1996) and Speak of the Devil (1998), he appeared in the sitcom The Chris Isaak Show, a Showtime show loosely based on Isaak's life. He released the album Always Got Tonight in 2002.

He has since appeared in The Informers (2009), his own interview show The Chris Isaak Hour, and has released the albums Mr. Lucky (2009), Live at the Fillmore (2010), and appeared on the compilation album Beyond the Sun (2011) with the likes of Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. (Image source)

 

 

 

 

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Thursday, 26 June 2014
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