At the age of 13, Stephen Bishop found himself at a crossroads. A clarinetist with hopes of becoming a History teacher, he was forever changed after watching the Beatles one night on The Ed Sullivan Show. He convinced his brother to buy him an electric guitar. He bought a “Mel Bay” chordbook and began to learn to play guitar and make up chords as well, writing his first song, “Surf’s Turf”, a pathetic sounding instrumental. He formed a band called, “The Weeds” and began to play at local fraternity parties mixing in his own original songs with popular Top 40 songs.
The Weeds won 2nd place at the Claremont Battle of the Bands, prompting one of the judges to explain that “Stephen Bishop is going to be a big songwriter someday!” Determined to fulfill that prophesy, Stephen made the trip to Los Angeles. He walked the streets with his $12 acoustic guitar, playing songs for various publishers in Hollywood, eventually landing a publishing deal at $50 a week for E. H. Morris Publishing. One of his songs was recorded only to be followed by a long wait. As the years went by, Stephen even considered leaving L.A. to return home and work for his Dad’s Insurance company. Through a good friend, Art Garfunkel heard some of his new songs and recorded two of them on his Gold recording, “Breakaway.”
Stephen started playing around town singing his songs in person for artists like Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Diana Ross and Michelle Phillips, among other. He was soon signed to ABC Records who released his first album, Careless. Two hits from that album were “Save It For a Rainy Day” and “On and On”. This album, as well as his followup, Bish, went gold.
He sang the hit theme, “It Might Be You” from the movie Tootsie, as well as either writing, singing or both on 13 other films including, Animal House and White Nights. His songs have been sung by legends such as Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Barbra Streisand, Art Garfunkel, Steve Perry, Stephanie Mills, Kenny Loggins, Johnny Mathis, Phoebe Snow, David Crosby, The Four Tops, Aswad and Pavarotti.
Stephen has been nominated for 2 Grammys, as well as receiving an Oscar nomination for his song, “Separate Lives”.
Stephen has not been idle. His last CD was entitled, Blue Guitars. His newest album is an acoustic guitar and vocal solo album called Yardwork. MCA also released a hit compilation in the Millennium series. His book on rough drafts, “SONGS IN THE ROUGH.” published by St. Martins’ Press, has nearly sold out in it’s first printing. He also sang and co-wrote the song, “You Can Do Anything” for the movie, Barney’s Big Adventure.
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