How many people recognize the name Gregg Rolie? I can almost guarantee you’ve heard his voice (unless you’ve been hiding under a rock with your fingers in your ears). Let me jog your memory a bit:
That’s right Gregg was the voice behind that Santana classic. In 1965 Gregg joined up with Carlos Santana and formed the Santana Blues Band. Eventually it was shortened to simply Santana. Gregg was with Santana at Woodstock in 1969. He was also known for his distinctive sound of his Hammond B3 organ. I know you know this classic:
Gregg and Carlos Santana had some differing opinions on the direction of the band and Gregg left at the end of 1971. Gregg returned to his home in Seattle and partnered into a restaurant with his dad. It so happened that it wasn’t that successful.
In 1973 Gregg joined forces with another Sanatana alumni Neal Schon. This was the begining of Journey. Gregg was the lead vocalist for Journey up until 1977. Here are some Journey with Gregg throughout the years:
Gregg left Journey in 1980 for a solo career. He released several solo records some of which featured the talents of Carlos Santana, Peter Wolf, Neal Schon, and Craig Chaquico. Here is one of my favorite tracks from the 1987 release Gringo:
In 1991 Gregg teamed up with Steve Smith and Ross Valory from Journey to form a new band called The Storm. Here is a track called ” I’ve Got A Lot To Learn About Love”:
Gregg continues to make music to this day with the Gregg Rolie Band:
Gregg is also a strong supporter of music education for children. In 2005 he became an official supporter of Little Kids Rock (http://www.littlekidsrock.org/) which is a nonprofit organization that provides free instruments and and lessons to disadvantaged public schools in the U.S.A. He is a member of the Honorary Board of Directors.
Gregg was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 with Santana.
Gregg is an all around renaissance man in the world of music.