Born in Detroit in 1975, Jack White was the youngest of ten children. By the time he was teenager, he was already listening to the blues and 60s rock music that would form the basis of his own signature sound. White came to widespread prominence with the release of The White Stripes’ self-titled debut album in 1999. The White Stripes, as you probably know, were a duo in which White served as the vocalist, pianist and guitarist.
White has always been known for his eclectic appearance and musical style. His passion for blues music is obvious in his guitar playing, and often mentioned in interviews, with his favorite artists reportedly including Son House and Blind Willie McTell. Jack is also noted for typically dressing in black, white and red, using the color scheme in many videos and shows (particularly for the White Stripes).
Aside from the White Stripes, White has worked with several bands over the years, including The Raconteurs beginning in 2006 and The Dead Weather starting in 2009. The Raconteurs opened for Bob Dylan on tour and released two albums together. The Dead Weather, a “supergroup” of sorts White formed with members of The Kills, and Queens of the Stone Age, also saw success and have released two albums, both on White’s own label. White also released his first solo album, titled Blunderbuss in 2012. It was widely popular among critics and fans.
Today, Jack White does much of his work as a record producer with his record label, Third Man Records, but his success as a producer actually goes back almost a decade to when he worked on a comeback album for Loretta Lynn titled Van Lear Rose. This award-winning album, released in 2004 and hailed by music critics, saw White experimenting, fusing his own garage/punk/blues style with Lynn’s country style to a surprisingly successful result.
White has always reached for unexpected projects, like the 2011 cover of the Mozart song, “Leck mich im Arsch,” (a title which affectionately translates to “lick my a**”) he produced for the Detroit horror-rap group Insane Clown Posse. White has said that it was his idea to involve Insane Clown Posse in the collaboration, partially because he was intrigued and confused by the group’s work.
Most recently, actor and comedian John C. Reilly has announced that he’s releasing a studio album under Third Man Records. The folk and country album will consist of cover songs, and will join the two singles Reilly has already released in collaboration with White. He has already covered Ray Price and the Delmore Brothers, with his upcoming album covering several more. Both artists seem excited about the project, expressing that these songs have deep roots.
White has already worked with the likes of Beck, The Rolling Stones, Alicia Keys and Electric Six, and with his continuing success as a solo artist and producer, it seems clear that he’ll continue to be as busy and prolific as ever in years to come. Happy birthday, Jack, and keep the music coming!
About the Author: Spencer Blohm is a freelance entertainment and culture blogger for Direct2TV. His affinity for The Cosby Show in his youth has led to a strange fixation on sweaters in his adulthood. He currently lives in Chicago and is working on this issue.