Most closely associated with his 1972 Top Ten entry "Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues," singer/songwriter Danny O'Keefe was born and raised in Spokane, WA, beginning his performing career on the Minnesota coffeehouse circuit of the mid-'60s.
Through Buffalo Springfield
manager Charles Greene, he landed a telephone audition with Atlantic Records honcho Ahmet Ertegun, signing with the label's Cotillion imprint to issue his self-titled 1971 debut LP. The follow-up, 1972's O'Keefe, yielded his lone hit, "Good Time Charlie," later covered by Elvis Presley
and many others. Although 1973's Breezy Stories failed to capitalize on the commercial success of its predecessor, it did generate two of O'Keefe's best-known compositions, "Magdalena" and "Angel Spread Your Wings" (covered by Leo Sayer
and Judy Collins
, respectively). Following 1975's So Long Harry Truman, he jumped to Warner Bros. to issue 1977's American Roulette. Around this time, O'Keefe played a series of charity concerts for environmental causes, with his efforts culminating two decades later with the formation of his Songbird Foundation, a group dedicated to the protection of songbirds harmed by aggressive coffee-growing practices in Latin America. In 1984, he also founded his own record label, Coldwater, to release The Day to Day; Runnin' From the Devil, his first new studio album in well over a decade, appeared in early 2000. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi