Bobby McFerrin

Bobby McFerrin was the lesser known of several acts that night, but before the evening was over he was the one everyone was talking about. It was a one-night jazz event in San Francisco, at a steakhouse off Market Street unaccustomed to having live music – and it sounded like it. McFerrin took the stage, and early in his set a note he sang was echoed by a loud feedback roar. Rather than panic, or berate the soundman, the singer intentionally hit the note again, and proceeded to do a “bit” using the feedback as another instrument. The audience was floored. People began hearing about McFerrin soon after that, as he signed a record deal with Elektra-Asylum, and later Blue Note Records, scoring a major hit with the acapella anthem “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

  1. Bobby McFerrin talks about his “instrument.” “Sightless Bird” from Bobby McFerrin, Elektra/Asylum (1982)
  2. Bobby McFerrin discusses scatting. “I’m My Own Walkman” and “Blackbird” from The Voice, Elektra (1984)
  3. Bobby McFerrin, child of fusion. “Blackbird” from The Voice, Elektra (1984)
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