Huey Lewis

From Academic Kids

Huey Lewis, whose real name is Hugh Anthony Cregg III, (born July 5, 1950) in New York City is a musician and singer. He does lead vocals and plays harmonica for his band Huey Lewis and The News, a rock group based in San Francisco, California that was particularly popular during the 1980s. He also played with the band Clover from 1972 to 1979.

Huey grew up in Marin County, California. In 1967, preparing to graduate from The Lawrenceville School, Huey applied and was accepted by Cornell University, in Ithaca, NY - but on the advice of his father, he decided to wait enrolling in college, and instead he headed for Europe. As he hitchhiked around the continent, he learned to play the harmonica whilst waiting for rides. Huey became an accomplished blues player, and gave his first concert in Europe, earning $150 for it, before returning to the United States.

On his return Huey entered Cornell, joining the engineering program. While there, he made friends with Lance and Larry Hoppen, who later played with Orleans and King Harvest. Huey soon lost interest in college though. He signed up with a band called Slippery Elm, and in December 1969 he dropped out of Cornell, moving back to the San Francisco area - his aim was to continue playing music, but along the way he also tried other fields of work including landscaping, carpentry and natural foods.

In 1971, Huey joined the Bay Area band Clover, and around this time, he changed his name to 'Huey Louie' after two of Donald Duck's nephews (and this eventually evolved into 'Huey Lewis'). Sean Hoper joined the band in 1972 - other members of the band were John McFee, Alex Call, John Ciambotti, Mitch Howie, and Mickey Shine. Huey played harmonica with the band, and only sang lead vocals on a few tunes. Clover's main rival band (which developed into a friendly rivalry) were Soundhole (Johnny Colla, Mario Cipollina and Bill Gibson were band members).

In 1976, after playing in the Bay Area with limited success, Clover went to Los Angeles - they had their 'big break' in a club there when their act was caught by Nick Lowe - he convinced Clover to travel to Britain with him. But Clover were not successful in Britain, they arrived just as their folk-rock sound (known as pub rock in Britain) was being replaced by punk rock. They did two albums for the British Phonogram label, but they both bombed.

Huey went on vacation; meanwhile Clover backed Elvis Costello on his debut album My Aim is True. The band returned to California, McFee joined the Doobie Brothers, and Clover broke-up.

In 1978 Huey was playing at Uncle Charlie's, a club in Corte Madera, California, doing the 'Monday Night Live' spot, along with future members of the News. After recording the song 'Exo-Disco' (a disco version of the theme from the film Exodus), Huey got a 'singles contract' from Phonogram Records, and Bob Brown became his Manager. Huey Lewis and the American Express formed in 1979, with the same line-up as the News - the band played a few gigs (including an opening for Van Morrison), but on Brown's advice, they changed their name again - and Huey Lewis and the News was born.

The band's third LP, Sports (1983), was one of the best-selling pop releases of the 1980s. It was followed up by another big seller, Fore! (1986).

As well as doing lead vocals and playing harmonica with the band, Huey also writes or co-writes many of their songs. Outside the band, his interests include golf, baseball, fishing and owning a racing car.

Huey has made appearances in several movies. The first was a cameo in Back to the Future (1985). The band also did two songs for the soundtrack, including the hit "The Power Of Love". The second appearance was in Shortcuts (1993). Huey had a much more significant role and a very memorable scene in it. The movie had a name-filled cast, and was much like Pulp Fiction in that many smaller stories connected together at the end. In addition, he appeared in the first few minutes of the movie Sphere (1998) as the helicopter pilot. After that role, he had a large part in Shadow of a Doubt (1998) which appeared on Showtime. He was uncredited in Dead Husbands (1998) as the husband killed during the opening credits.

Duets (2000) was probably his largest role in a fairly high-profile movie. In it, he played Gwyneth Paltrow's father, Ricky Dean, a Karaoke-hustler. Duets led to the smash-hit duet "Cruisin'" (a cover of the Smokey Robinson classic) with Paltrow. Next, we should see Huey in a film titled .com for Murder.

He is married and lives in Ross, California, and has two children - Kelly (born 1983) and Austin (born 1985).

His mother, Magda Cregg, was the partner of the poet Lew Welch.

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