Blackjack Michael Bolton

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March 6, 2016 – 07:56 am
Blackjack, Michael Bolton

There are some oddities in the Concert Vault. Oddities like a 1983 Michael Bolton gig from Dallas, TX, when Bolton was hanging on the frayed edges of a failed attempt at success as a hard rock singer. Bolton was four albums into his career – two with the band Blackjack, and two albums prior to Blackjack, recorded under his birth name of Michael Bolotin.

Blackjack featured a heavy list of players – future KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick, bass player Jimmy Haslip (later a big name in jazz with the Yellowjackets, and also recorded/toured with Bruce Hornsby), and drummer Sandy Gennaro who eventually collaborated with a wide range of musicians from Cyndi Lauper to Bo Diddley. The wimp rock detector hit overload every time that Bolton took the stage with Blackjack, and despite this crafty promotional film featuring good words from legendary producer Tom Dowd (who called Bolton the most talented vocalist he’d worked with since Gregg Allman), Blackjack quickly sank.

Dropped by RCA Records in 1982, Bolton would have been homeless and living on the streets, had it not been for the intervention of close friend Benny Mardones, who gave Bolton a couch to crash on while he figured out his next move. Columbia Records came calling, and Bolton signed on the dotted line with the label that would be his recording home for the next 17 years. Michael Bolotin became Michael Bolton, and with his self-titled Columbia debut in stores in 1983, Bolton hit the road with a band that featured former Blackjack mate Bruce Kulick on guitar, Kulick’s brother Bob adding additional guitars, and believe it or not, Aldo Nova on keyboards. Despite the failure of Blackjack, Columbia still believed that Bolton had legs as a rock vocalist, and using bands like Bon Jovi and Foreigner as a template, Columbia gave a friendly nudge to rock music fans and suggested that perhaps Bolton was the rock vocalist they had been waiting for.

Interesting facts

Bruce Howard Kulick (born December 12, 1953 in New York) is an American guitarist, musician and a member of the band Grand Funk Railroad. Previously, Kulick had been a longtime member of the band Kiss.
Kulick is also known for being a former member of the band Blackjack with Michael Bolton, and also played on several Michael Bolton solo albums...

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Popular Q&A
What is Michael Bolton's birthday?

Michael Bolton was born on February 26, 1953.

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