Biography by Tom Roland
One of country music's most innovative artists during the late '70s and early '80s, Rabbitt has made contributions to the format that have often gone overlooked. Especially in songs like the R&B-inflected "Suspicions" and the rockin' "Someone Could Lose a Heart Tonight," Rabbitt challenged the commonly recognized creative boundaries of the idiom.
Hailing from Brooklyn and New Jersey, Rabbitt moved to Nashville in 1968. Though it took a few years to get his recording career off the ground, he paid the rent through songwriting, authoring Elvis Presley's "Kentucky Rain" and Ronnie Milsap's "Pure Love."
Signing with Elektra Records' newly established country division in 1975, Rabbitt made recordings that were decidedly country -- mostly uptempo material, like "Two Dollars in the Jukebox" and "Drinkin' My Baby (Off My Mind)" -- with thick, inimitable harmonies, most of them overdubbed by Rabbitt himself.
Driven in part by then-associates David Malloy and Even Stevens, Rabbitt's records became "progressively progressive," well into the late '80s. At that time, his country shuffle "On Second Thought" demonstrated a return to more traditional sounds.
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