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Josh White Jr.

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  • Born: New York, NY
  • Years Active: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Folksinger and actor Josh White Jr. proudly upheld the musical tradition begun by his father, the legendary bluesman and social activist Josh White. Born November 30, 1940 in New York City, he made his performing debut at the age of four, appearing alongside his dad at the Big Apple nightclub Cafe Society; for close to two decades, father and son regularly shared the stage, frequently co-starring together on Broadway as well -- for 1949's How Long Til Summer?, the younger White even earned a special Tony Award as Best Child Actor. He made his solo debut in 1956 with the Decca release "See Saw," co-written by Marvin Hamlisch (White's classmate at the Professional Children's School along with Elliott Gould, Sandra Dee, Leslie Uggams, and Christopher Walken); as the folk revival blossomed, he increasingly turned his energies from acting to music, mounting a full-fledged solo career with the minor 1962 hit "Do You Close Your Eyes."

A popular attraction on the campus circuit, White toured regularly throughout the years to follow, recording albums including 1967's The Josh White Jr. Album, 1968's One Step Further, and a 1978 self-titled effort for Vanguard. In 1979, he headlined the PBS concert special Ramblin' with Josh White Jr., and in 1983 starred in a theatrical biography of his father, JOSH: The Man and His Music. White Jr. again celebrated White Sr.'s music with 1987's Grammy-nominated instrumental album Jazz, Ballads and Blues. A children's album, My Favorite Toy, followed in 1994, and five years later he returned with In Tribute to Josh White: House of the Rising Son. Cortelia Clark was issued on Silverwolf in 2000, and White continued releasing albums on the label during the ensuing decade, including Delicate Balance (2006), All the Children (with Ron Coden, 2007), By Request (2009), and Tuning for the Blues (2010).