Brian Setzer

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Brian Setzer (born April 10, 1959) is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. He first found widespread success in the early 1980s with the 1950s-style rockabilly revival group The Stray Cats, and revitalized his career in the late 1990s with a jazz-oriented big band.




Setzer was born in Massapequa, New York. Beginning in January 1979, he has fronted the popular rockabilly band, the Stray Cats.

After performing locally from New York to Philadelphia under various band names with no real success, singer and lead guitarist Setzer, drummer Slim Jim Phantom (born James McDonnell) and bassist Lee Rocker (born Leon Drucker) decided in June 1980 to go to London, England where they believed people would better appreciate their sound and style.

To get the money for their plane tickets, Brian, Lee and Jim went to Sam Ash Music on 48th Street to sell their instruments and gear to the store, and rather than negotiating simply sold all of their equipment for just enough money for three one-way plane tickets. Upon their arrival, they decided to call themselves the "Stray Cats", a name suggested by Rocker because of their status as 'strays'. After performing for only a few months they drew the attention of British producer Dave Edmunds and released a series of successful singles in the UK, which countered the already-entrenched punk scene in London with the more simple stripped down rockabilly sound, which immediately caught on with the youth.

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