Happy Birthday Joe Jackson

(Gibson) After being introduced to music fans as one of new wave's "angry young men" (along with Elvis Costello and Graham Parker), Joe Jackson has spent his career working in a variety of musical styles. The British singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has said his focus is always on creating "eclectic pop" music, which has taken him from ska and punk to jazz and classical compositions, landing him a few hits ("Is She Really Going Out with Him?" "Steppin' Out") during his 30-plus years on the music scene.

Joe Jackson was born David Ian Jackson in Stratfordshire, England, on this day in 1954. He grew up in Portsmouth, first learning to play the violin and then switching to piano. He became so enamored with the instrument, he was able to convince his father to have a piano moved into their home. By 16, he was honing his musical chops by playing in bars. Soon, he earned a scholarship to study musical composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Sometime during his days at the academy, young David Jackson started being called Joe. He earned the nickname because classmates thought he looked like the main puppet character on the U.K. series Joe 90. He was still known as David in his '70s band Edward Bear which became Edwin Bear and then Arms & Legs. Around the time that Arms & Legs broke up (following two unsuccessful singles) in 1976, he became known professionally as Joe Jackson. more on this story

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