LOU GRAMM…”THE JUKEBOX HERO”
After rising to prominence as the frontman for the hard rock combo Foreigner, Lou Gramm mounted a successful solo career during the ’80s, cracking the Top 10 in 1987 with the single “Midnight Blue” and repeating the process two years later with “Just Between You and Me.” Born in Rochester, NY, on May 2, 1950, Gramm first surfaced as the drummer with the band Black Sheep, assuming lead vocal duties prior to recording the group’s self-titled 1975 Capitol debut. Neither the album nor its follow-up, Encouraging Words, earned much mainstream notice, but they did capture the attention of journeyman guitarist Mick Jones, best known for his stint with a latter-day incarnation of Spooky Tooth. Jones soon tapped Gramm to front his new group, Foreigner, and together they began writing songs, co-authoring the smash “Cold as Ice” from their best-selling 1977 eponymous debut LP. Gramm’s powerfully distinctive vocals were inescapable in the years to follow as Foreigner reeled off an impressive series of pop radio hits, including “Hot Blooded,” “Double Vision,” “Urgent,” and “Waiting for a Girl Like You.” The hits culminated in 1984’s chart-topping power ballad “I Want to Know What Love Is,” which became a number one hit in America, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand, and the U.K.