Peter Wolf PhotoBORN: March 7, 1946, New York, NY [The Bronx]

Best known for his tenure fronting the J. Geils Band, singer Peter Wolf was born and raised in the Bronx, and came from a family active in show business. His father was a dancer, song plugger, disc-jockey and singer of light opera; his mother, an organizer for the civil rights and labor movements, was a teacher for inner city children in the Bronx. Wolf's earliest passion was painting, and he was accepted on a scholarship to the Museum of Modern Art's Special Studies for Children, and later to the High School of Music and Art, just blocks from the Apollo Theatre, where the young Wolf would make weekly visits. Seeing performers like Jackie Wilson, Dinah Washington, Otis Redding and James Brown sparked his early interest in blues and R&B. After graduating from high school, he hitchhiked through the Midwest; in Chicago, he became involved in a couple of blues and folk music societies while studying painting at the University of Chicago. While there, he visited the Southside blues clubs, drawing influence from the musicians he saw there.

With a grant to study at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, he became a disc jockey on WBCN-FM, hosting a show called The All Night House Party. The show touched on many musical bases, and reflected Wolf's own broad musical interests. While still in college in Boston, Wolf joined his first musical group, comprised of fellow art students. They played blues music, and later got to meet and tour with their heroes like John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters. In 1967, he formed the group that would go on to become the J. Geils Band, which began playing clubs around New England. Their first big break was a chance to play at the Fillmore East in New York City, and they became known for their marathon live performances, with Wolf establishing a reputation as a particularly dynamic frontman. The group was signed to Atlantic Records by producer/impresario Jerry Wexler, and toured constantly over the next couple of years, performing as special guests with the Rolling Stones throughout he U.S. and Europe. At one of these concerts, Wolf met actress Faye Dunaway, whom he later married for a short time.

In 1983, the group was at the height of their popularity, and had gone 17 years without a personnel change. Finally, the J. Geils Band went their separate ways and Wolf went on to produce numerous film soundtracks and run art exhibits of his original paintings. In 1984, he released his first solo album, Lights Out, followed in 1987 by Come as You Are, which spurred the hit single of the same name. In between albums he worked on duets with Mick Jagger and Aretha Franklin, who recruited him specifically for her Who's Zoomin' Who album. In 1989, after a six-month songwriting retreat in Nashville, he recorded and released his third solo album, Up to No Good. In 1994, Wolf assembled a group of musicians and began playing clubs around as a way to test out newer material on live audiences. It was the live feeling he so successfully captured on Long Line, his 1996 Reprise/Warner Bros. release. Fool's Parade followed two years later. ~ Richard Skelly, All Music Guide