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Frank Zappa Biography

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Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, guitarist, singer, film director, and satirist. In his 33-year musical career, Zappa proved to be one of the most prolific musician-composers of his era, releasing over sixty albums during his lifetime, almost all of which consisted of original compositions. He was also a renowned electric guitarist and a producer-engineer with an encyclopedic knowledge of studio technology, who self-produced almost every recording he made after his 1966 debut.

His work spanned virtually every contemporary musical genre and was often noted for its blend of high art, rock music, absurdity, scatological humor, and for its caustic satire. Zappa was also noted as a spotter of talent and conductor of extremely stringent auditions, his various groups including such musicians as Adrian Belew, Terry Bozzio, Aynsley Dunbar, Bruce Fowler, Lowell George, Jean-Luc Ponty, Ruth Underwood, George Duke, Vinnie Colaiuta, Mike Keneally and Steve Vai.

Zappa has a large and dedicated worldwide following, particularly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands and Scandinavian countries. His albums were a strong influence on other groups, and his work garnered brief mainstream success in the mid 1970s and early 1980s, with the hit singles: "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow", "Dancin' Fool" and "Valley Girl". Zappa, as demonstrated by his disparaging comments about the music business, never cared much for mainstream acclaim.

Zappa was married twice, once to Kathryn "Kay" Sherman (1960–1964; no children), and then in 1967 to Adelaide Gail Sloatman, with whom he remained until his death. They had four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan (named for Atlantic Records executive Ahmet Ertegun), and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen. Gail Zappa handles the businesses of her late husband under the company name the Zappa Family Trust.
Artist information courtesy of their Wikipedia entry, which is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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