Dr. JohnMalcolm John "Mac" Rebennack, Jr. (born November 21, 1940), better known by the stage name Dr. John (also Dr. John Creaux, or Dr. John the Night Tripper), is an American singer-songwriter, pianist and guitarist, whose music combines blues, pop, jazz as well as zydeco, boogie woogie and rock and roll.
Active as a session musician since the late 1950s, he gained a cult following in the late sixties following the release of his album Gris-Gris and his appearance at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music. He came to wider prominence in the early 1970s with a wildly theatrical stage show inspired by medicine shows, Mardi Gras costumes and voodoo ceremonies. Rebennack has recorded over 20 albums and in 1973 scored a top-20 hit with the jaunty funk-flavored "Right Place Wrong Time", still perhaps his best-known song.
The winner of six Grammy Awards, Rebennack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by singer John Legend on March 14, 2011. In May 2013, Rebennack was the recipient of an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Tulane University. He was jokingly referred to by Tulane's president, Scott Cowen, as "Dr. Dr. John".
His musical career began in the 1950s when he wrote and played guitar on some of the greatest records to come out of the Crescent City, including recordings by Professor Longhair, Art Neville, Joe Tex and Frankie Ford.
A notorious gun incident forced the artist to give up the guitar and concentrate on organ and piano. Further trouble at home sent Dr. John west in the 1960s, where he continued to be in demand as a session musician, playing on records by Sonny and Cher, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin and The Rolling Stones' infamous Exile On Main St. to name a few.
During that time he also launched his solo career, developing the charismatic persona of Dr. John The Nite Tripper. Adorned with voodoo charms and regalia, a legend was born with his breakthrough 1968 album Gris-gris, which established his unique blend of voodoo mysticism, funk, rhythm & blues, psychedelic rock and Creole roots.
Several of his many career highlights include the masterful album Sun, Moon and Herbs in 1971 which included cameos from Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger and 1973’s In The Right Place, which contained the chart hits “Right Place Wrong Time” and “Such A Night.”
Dr. John garnered Grammy award wins in 1989, 1992, 1996 and 2000. In 2004, his musical love letter to the city of New Orleans, “N’awlinz Dis Dat or D’udda,” was awarded the prestigious Académie Charles Cros 57ème Palmarès award in France. It was the first time since the 1970s that an artist from North America received the award.
He has also received six other nominations over the years. In 2007 he was nominated for a Grammy for “Sippiana Hericane,” his Hurricane Katrina benefit disc. Other awards include the American Society of Young Musicians 2007 Trailblazer Award.
After Hurricane Katrina and government bungles bashed New Orleans in 2005, Dr. John immediately stepped up to the plate with both generous relief fund-raising concerts and recordings and angry public words of protest. In 2008 he released “City That Care Forgot,” an album winning him a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album.