Norman Greenbaum

Rock Singer

Norman Greenbaum was born in Malden, Massachusetts, United States on November 20th, 1942 and is the Rock Singer. At the age of 80, Norman Greenbaum biography, profession, age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, measurements, education, career, dating/affair, family, news updates, and networth are available.

Date of Birth
November 20, 1942
United States
Place of Birth
Malden, Massachusetts, United States
80 years old
Zodiac Sign
Musician, Recording Artist, Singer, Singer-songwriter, Songwriter
Norman Greenbaum Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

At 80 years old, Norman Greenbaum physical status not available right now. We will update Norman Greenbaum's height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, and measurements.

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Norman Greenbaum Religion, Education, and Hobbies
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Norman Greenbaum Spouse(s), Children, Affair, Parents, and Family
Victoria Sue Bodnar, ​ ​(m. 1969; div. 1973)​ (2 children)
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Dating / Affair
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Norman Greenbaum Personal Life

Greenbaum was born in Malden, Massachusetts. He was raised in an Orthodox Jewish household and attended Hebrew school at Congregation Beth Israel. His initial interest in music was sparked by Southern blues music and the folk music that was popular in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He performed with various bands in high school and studied music at Boston University for two years. In college he performed at local coffeehouses but eventually dropped out and moved to Los Angeles in 1965.

Greenbaum has been a long-time resident of Santa Rosa, California. He was critically injured when a car, in which he was a passenger, made a left turn in the path of a motorcycle on Occidental Road on March 28, 2015, killing the motorcyclist and injuring the motorcycle passenger. Greenbaum has since gone back to performing.


Norman Greenbaum Career

In the late 1960s Norman Greenbaum was the leader and composer for Dr. West's Medicine Show and Junk Band, which recorded the novelty hit "The Eggplant That Ate Chicago". The group's psychedelic approach was too eccentric for mainstream show business; the group's name suggested a novelty or comedy act incorporating music.

Greenbaum went solo as a folk artist and submitted an original song, "Spirit in the Sky", to Reprise Records. His demonstration recording was a simple folk rendition, with Greenbaum accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. Reprise handed Greenbaum to staff producer Erik Jacobsen, who radically rearranged the song for a new recording session. The updated version now had pulsing electric guitar, synthesized effects, gospel-styled backup singers, and an insistent rhythm accompanying Greenbaum, whose vocal was now double-tracked. Reprise released the record in late 1969, and it skyrocketed to #1 in almost all worldwide markets. It sold two million copies in 1969 and 1970, and received a gold disc from the RIAA. It has subsequently been used in many films, advertisements, and television shows.

Although "Spirit in the Sky" has a clear Christian theme, Greenbaum was and remains an observant Jew. Greenbaum says he was inspired to write the song after watching country singers singing a song on television. In an interview Greenbaum stated that Western movies were the real inspiration for "Spirit in the Sky":

All of the accoutrements added to "Spirit in the Sky" in the recording studio made it impossible for Greenbaum to replicate the recording in live performances. His televised appearance on Dick Clark's American Bandstand compelled the singer to synchronize his performance to a playback of the hit record.

Though Norman Greenbaum is generally regarded as a one-hit wonder, he actually had two hits: the upbeat "Canned Ham" followed in 1970, and the record reached number 46 on the American charts and number 26 in the Canadian charts.