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Kit Watkins

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Kit Watkins (born 1953 in Virginia) is a progressive-ambient-jazz recording artist based in Brattleboro, Vermont. Born to classical piano teachers, Watkins was a founding member of the American progressive rock band Happy The Man, which formed in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 1973. Contrary to popular belief, the band’s name was not taken from a little-known Genesis song of the same name — a bizarre coincidence that amazed and surprised the band, who had no knowledge of the song until later. The origin of the name Happy The Man actually came from the book “Faust” by Goethe who used the phrase “happy the man” often in the book.

The band moved to the Washington, DC area in the summer of 1975 and developed a devoted following as a result of airplay on WGTB-FM (the Georgetown University radio station, no longer in existence) as well as live performances sponsored by the station, headlining the Pandemedia event of that year. The band was a regular act at The Cellar Door in Georgetown, DC.

In 1976 they were auditioned by singer Peter Gabriel for his touring back-up band, a role comparable to what had been fulfilled by The Band for Bob Dylan in the mid-1960s. Kit remembers the audition well. “The band with Gabriel sounded surprisingly like Genesis” says Watkins. “I think he decided against us for that reason, although we never knew that with any certainty.” Happy The Man wanted to keep its own identity and not be known as merely Gabriel’s back-up band. So when the news came that Gabriel had declined, the band wasn’t entirely disappointed. Then, just months later, Happy The Man was fortunate to sign with Clive Davis’ Arista Records, which released their debut album, Happy The Man, in 1977 to a much wider audience.

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  • Andi242GER

    Sixth list of free ambient music is here.

    10 Nov 2013 Reply
  • Stellardrone

    "This Time and Space" is great great album. You can download it for free from Earth Mantra label.

    15 Jul 2010 Reply
  • Aryback

    Very good music! Unique style. I like Kit Watkins music, especially, his album "Sunstruck" and "The Gathering".

    12 Oct 2008 Reply
  • radiofreetunes

    Hi Kitten, Please join our Piano Music group. I've connected you to the group for inclusion of your music on the radio station. Cheers Paul Carosi Piano Forte Radio

    15 Feb 2007 Reply

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