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Jack White

On 09/07/1975: Jack White was born. His birth name was John Anthony Gillis and was born in Detroit, Michigan, the youngest of ten children, the seventh son. Both his parents worked for the Archdiocese of Detroit and John became an altar boy. Being an altar boy led to him appearing in an uncredited role in the film The Rosary Murders.
His early musical influences came from his brothers and he learned to play on the instruments they had left. He started playing drums in first grade, after finding a kit in the attic. As a child he liked listening to classical music, in elementary school he listened to the Doors, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin. By the time he was in his teens he was listening to the blues and 1960s rock, with Son House and Blind Willie McTell being particular favourites.
He was accepted to a seminary in Wisconsin to become a priest. At the last minute though he decided to change and got accepted into Cass Technical High School as a business major. At Cass he played drums and trombone in the band. When he was 15 he started an apprenticeship in upholstery with family friend Brian Muldoon. Muldoon would introduce him to punk music whilst they worked and they recorded an album called "Makers of High Grade Suites", as the Upholsterers. As a senior in high school he met Megan White who was working at a Memphis Smoke restaurant. They would get married in September 21, 1996, with him taking her last name. After finishing his apprenticeship he started his own upholstery business called Third Man Upholstery. Although the business had regular customers it was unprofitable due to his complacency with money and informal business practices such as making bills out in crayon and writing poetry inside the furniture.
At 19 Jack became the drummer for Detroit band Goober & the Peas. He was with them till their split in 1996. He continued to work as an upholsterer during the day and moonlighted in bands during the night. Meg started learning drums in 1997. Two months later they performed their first show, calling themselves The White Stripes. They presented themselves as siblings and dressed in red white and black, in the Michigan underground garage rock scene. In 1998 they signed with Italy Records.
In 1999 they released their eponymous debut album. This was followed up in the next year with the album "De Stijl".
In 2001 they released the album "White Blood Cells", which drew critical acclaim and greater success.
In 2003 they released "Elephant". This featured the highly successful track "Seven Nation Army" which would win the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Rock Song.
Their next album "Get Behind Me Satan" would be recorded at Jack's home studio.
In 2005 Jack collaborated with Brendan Benson on the track "Steady, as She Goes". They decided to form a band which was named The Raconteurs with Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler of the Greenhornes. They would meet at Benson's home studio when they had the time to do so. They released their debut album "Broken Boy Soldiers" and went on tour. The group's second album "Consolers of the Lonely" was released in 2008. Both albums would receive Grammy nominations.
In 2007 the White Stripes released the album "Icky Thump", which was recorded at Blackbird Studio in Nashville. To support the album they went on a Canadian tour. However Meg suffered from acute anxiety during the tour and they had to cancel 18 tour dates and then later cancelled a tour of the UK.
Whilst he was touring to promote the second Raconteurs album, Alison Mosshart would fill in for Jack's vocals whilst he suffered from bronchitis. They would continue to collaborate and in early 2009 they formed the band The Dead Weather, with Jack Lawrence on bass, and Dean Fertita on guitar and keyboard. They released their debut album "Horehound" in 2009. Their follow up album "Sea of Cowards" was released the next year.
On February 20, 2009 the White Stripes made a live appearance on the final episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien. This was the first appearance since the tour cancellations.
On February 2, 2011 the White Stripes announced that they were disbanding, emphasising that it was not due to health issues or artistic differences.
Jack has collaborated with several artists as a solo artist including Loretta Lynn, Alicia Keys, Daniele Luppi. Wanda Jackson, Beck, The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck and Bob Dylan. His first solo single "Fly Farm Blues" was recorded during filming of the film "It Might Get Loud" which featured Jimmy Page, The Edge and himself discussing electric guitar.
In 2012 he released his first solo album "Blunderbuss". To promote the album he had two backing bands the all female band The Peacocks and the all male band The Buzzards. The album was nominated for several Grammys, including Album of the Year, Best Rock Album, and Best Rock Song.
In 2014 he released the follow up album "Lazaretto", which debuted at number 1 in the billboard chart and was nominated for Grammy awards.
White has also founded the label Third Man Records. He founded it in 2001, but it was only in 2009 that it was given a physical location, when it was moved to Nashville. It has the slogan "Your Turntable’s Not Dead," and also presses vinyl records.

The Music History Calendar is written by the Blues Rock artist Marshland Pete
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