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Oral History of Bill Champlin

@ Mill Valley Public Library


In this oral history, musician and raconteur Bill Champlin vividly recounts a life devoted to music, one fundamentally shaped by his experience growing up in Mill Valley. Born across the bay in Oakland in 1947, Bill moved with his mother and two sisters to Mill Valley when he was 12 years old. Rock n' roll and R&B were sweeping through Marin in the 1960s, and Bill describes his total immersion in the local music scene, even while still a student at Tam High, and in the broader context of the Vietnam War and the racial tensions of the time. Bill recalls many of the great musicians he has known and played with over the years; the development of his major band, the Sons of Champlin, which he started in the late 1960s; and his life as a songwriter in Los Angeles in the 1970s, a period of great creativity during which he received two Grammys. Throughout the oral history Bill evokes the adventure and camaraderie of the artistic life and the nourishment it received from the cultural synergy he encountered as a teenager in Marin County.
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Mill Valley Public Library

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California Digital Library