Happy Birthday Bill Graham!


Bill Graham (January 8, 1931 – October 25, 1991) was an American impresario and rock concert promoter from the 1960s until his death in 1991 in a helicopter crash. He fled from Germany and, in 1941, from France to escape the Holocaust. At age ten he settled in a foster home in the Bronx, New York. Graham graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School and from City College with a business degree although he claimed he had a degree in journalism.
In the early 1960s, he moved to San Francisco, and, in 1965, began to manage a theater troupe. He organized a benefit concert, then promoted several free concerts. This eventually turned into a profitable full-time career and he assembled a talented staff of one and a half. Graham had a profound influence around the world, sponsoring the musical renaissance of the ’60s from the epicenter, San Francisco. Graham made famous the Fillmore, Winterland, and his Family Dog concert halls; these turned out to be a proving grounds for rock bands and acts of the San Francisco Bay Area such as the Grateful Dead, the Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother & the Holding Company with Janis Joplin, the Starship, the Eagles, Country Joe and the Fish, the New Riders of the Purple Sage, Moby Grape, Santana, Frank Zappa, Steve Miller, the Mamas and the Papas, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Deep Purple, Taj Mahal and many more. His foresight, toughness, successes, generosity, popularity and talented staff allowed him to become the top concert promoter in rock music and a multimillionaire.

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