Born and raised in San Francisco, my roots singing pop favorites go way back. I vividly remember as a child hearing the great songs of the 30s sung by my father, Don Steele, who was lead singer for the Phil Harris-Harold Lofner band in pre-WW II days. (Dad was singing at the St Francis Hotel in SF at the time Bing Crosby was singing at the Coconut Grove in LA), with Sinatra about to come on the scene.
We had big names singing and playing at parties at home, like Josh White who taught me folk blues licks sitting by the fireplace and Rusty Draper whose Las Vegas lounge act style of country set the bar for me As a counterpoint to Nashville, Ronnie Kemper of "Does Your Mother Know You're Out Cecila" fame was a regular taking turns at the piano in our living room. Ever since I have loved performing this niche of "Big Band" novelty songs.
I was lucky to attend high school with Johnny Mathis who sang at our rallys and his smooth style is why I perform Bobby Darin and Frankie Avalon signature pieces like Dream Lover, Beyond the Sea and Venus.
I attended the University of Southern California and
made a lifelong friend with Tom Morey, a fellow USC Phi Delt , who keeps me in tune with the Progressive Jazz side of life. Tom invented the Morey "Boogie Board" and is a great Jazz drummer, still performing in Laguna Beach. My smooth jazz guitar styling rendition of "Summertime" was influenced by Tom as well as my vocal jazz swing pop standards like Witchcraft and Under My Skin. .
Personal Note: I am married to Elizabeth (Steele) and we live in the Thousand Oaks subdivision of Trinity.