Biography - Marc Falconberry
Marc Falconberry (genealogy) (web site) is the son of George William Falconberry, Junior, and Penni (Maiers) Falconberry. His father was a musician during the swing band era and Marc has continued the musical tradition as a blues performer in and around the Detroit, Michigan, area for decades.
During part of the 1970s and 1980s, he lived in California and performed with many stars such as Chuck Berry, Alice Cooper, Janis Joplin, Ted Nugent, Iggy Pop, Kenny Rogers, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, Johnny Winter and many others. His autobiography explains how he entered the music business and how he got his nickname, the "Reverend" Marc Falconberry.
Since there is no one around anymore who knows the whole story, I'm writing this myself. I hope that you, the reader, will find it interesting enough.
I was born December 22, 1948, on the East side of Detroit, although I grew up mostly on the West side. I started singing in church around age 10 and, because of breaking my arm in a basketball game, began playing regular and slide guitar in 1964 at age 15.
After practicing every day for a year, I turned professional, playing on street corners for tips, teen clubs, parties, V.F.W. halls, etc. Sometimes I think, like most blues players, my playing style or feel comes from not having good equipment in the beginning.
My first real "break" came from playing blues-based rock and roll for local disc jockey "caravans" at high school, "sock hops", also by making my first record at age 17. Through these things I met many local and national artists in blues, soul, folk-rock, jazz and learned from the "streets up" as we used to say.
About a year later, because of San Francisco and English bands coming to Detroit, the ballroom scene was born. I left home for good, and was in 20 or so different bands that opened or were featured on these shows. These experiences are very precious to me even today. I was surprised to see an old poster of one of my bands, "Dutch Elm" hanging in the Detroit section of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. There are many more which haven't surfaced yet.
By the early 1970's the music industry became big business, and in order to supplement my occasional concert and club work, I traveled to play in Los Angeles, New York, Canada, Madison, Wisconsin, etc.
Soon, playing only limited blues within other forms of music wasn't shaking my soul anymore. Also, personal tragedies with musical and business associates led me back to Detroit in 1976. I quit playing gigs but in private continued to write songs, which I had done from the beginning.
Around 1979, a "jamming" buddy approached me with the idea of forming a loose-based "West Side Blues Band". It was fun, but eventually hard times hit again and in 1981 I returned to Los Angeles. After becoming the treasurer of "The Southern California Blues Society," I helped stage shows for the older and well known blues musicians, and once played solo opening for Johnny Winter. In 1986, due to divorce, I returned once more to the "Motor City", starting my own blues band and resuming my B.M.I Publishing Company.
Since then I have performed solo and together with everyone in the city, and other local bands have performed and recorded my songs.
My commitment to my own "thing" has kept me going, even getting used to a nickname, "The Reverend," for "preaching" the blues, something I will always believe in.
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