This Day In Music 15.03.2016
Ry Cooder is an eclectic session musician, soundtrack composer and multistrumentalist.
Ryland Cooder was born on 15 March 1947, in Los Angeles, California, to father Bill Cooder and Italian American mother Emma Casaroli. He has a glass eye since he was four because he accidentally stuck a knife in his left eye.
He began playing the guitar when he was three years old. As a young man Cooder performed as part of a pickup trio with Bill Monroe and Doc Watson, in which he played banjo. The trio was not a success, but Cooder applied banjo tunings and the three-finger-roll to guitar instead.
Cooder first attracted attention playing with Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, notably on the 1967 album Safe As Milk after previously having worked with Taj Mahal and Ed Cassidy in the Rising Sons.
Cooder was a session musician on various recording sessions with The Rolling Stones in 1968/1969, and his contributions appear on the albums Let It Bleed, (he played mandolin on Love in Vain) and Sticky Fingers, on which he contributed the slide guitar on Sister Morphine. Cooder also played slide guitar for the 1970 film soundtrack Performance, which contained Jagger's first solo single, Memo from Turner.
In 1974, he produced what is generally regarded as his best album, Paradise And Lunch, and its follow-up, Chicken Skin Music, showcased a potent blend of Tex-Mex, Hawaiian, gospel, and soul. In early ' 80s Cooder began to augment his solo output with soundtrack work on such film as Collar and Geronimo and many other. Below Ry Cooder steel guitar for the score of Paris, Texas, 1984's Wim Wenders' road movie, Palme D'Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival.
In the '90s Cooder turned his attention to world music recording the album A Meeting By The River. Later he released a duet album with renowned African guitarist Ali Farka Touré titled Talking Timbuktu, winning the 1994 Grammy for Best World Music Recording.
In 1997, he travelled to Cuba to produce and play with a group of son musicians who had little exposure outside of their homeland. The resulting album, Buena Vista Social Club was a platinum-selling international success that made stars of Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer and Ruben Gonzales, and earned Cooder another Grammy.
In 2005, Cooder released Chavez Ravine, his first solo album since 1987's Get Rhythm; the album was the first entry in a trilogy of recordings about the disappearance of Los Angeles' cultural history as a result of gentrification. Chavez Ravine was followed by My Name Is Buddy in 2007, and the final chapter in the saga, I Flathead in 2009.
In 2015 Cooder tored by Ricky Staggs, Sharon White and other members of The Whites with their Music For The Good People show.