Tonio K

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Tonio K. (born Steven M. Krikorian, b. July 4, 1950[1]) is an American singer/songwriter who has released eight albums. His songs have been recorded by Al Green, Aaron Neville, Burt Bacharach, Bonnie Raitt, Chicago, Wynonna Judd and Vanessa Williams.[citation needed] His song, “16 Tons Of Monkeys,” co-written with guitarist Steve Schiff, was the featured tune in the 1992 Academy Award winning Short Film, Session Man. He worked with Bacharach and Hip-Hop impresario Dr. Dre on Bacharach’s At This Time, which won the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Recording in 2005.

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Recording and Performing Artist

As a teenager, Krikorian, along with friends Alan Shapazian, Steve Olson, Nick van Maarth, and Duane Scott, formed a surf-funk/psychedelic-punk band called The Raik's Progress, which recorded a single for Liberty Records, released in 1966. Known for their Dadaist-inspired between-song routines, one reviewer described their performance while opening for Buffalo Springfield at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium as being like “the Three Stooges playing strip poker with Iggy and the Stooges.” A full-length album by the band, Sewer Rat Love Chant, was eventually issued on Sundazed Records in 2003.

In the early 1970s, Krikorian recorded two albums with Buddy Holly's original band, The Crickets. The group consisted of founding members J.I. Allison and Sonny Curtis, plus Rick Grech (Blind Faith, Traffic) and Albert Lee (Heads, Hands and Feet, Eric Clapton) and the Raik’s Nick van Maarth who would later join California rock ensemble Wha-Koo. Remnants (1973) and A Long Way from Lubbock (1974) were produced by long-time Holly and Cricket cohort, Bob Montgomery. In 2004, Krikorian reunited with the Crickets for a track on their star-studded (Eric Clapton, Graham Nash, Phil Everly) album, The Crickets and Their Buddies, singing lead on the Holly classic, "Not Fade Away."

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