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Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder launched a successful solo recording career in the early 1970's with a string of well-received albums featuring his unique blues-flavored slide guitar. Over the years he has delved into such diverse influences as Gospel, Hawaiian slack-key, and Tex-Mex.

His first film score, for THE LONG RIDERS in 1980, was followed by such films as SOUTHERN COMFORT, THE BORDER, STREET OF FIRE, CROSSROADS, and Wim Wenders' widely-lauded PARIS,TEXAS.

Cooder worked with Walter Hill on the gritty urban drama, TRESPASS, in 1992 before re-teaming with Hill in 1993 for GERONIMO: AN AMERICAN LEGEND and again in 1996 for LAST MAN STANDING, starring Bruce Willis. In 1977 Ry scored THE END OF VIOLENCE, reuniting him with Wim Wenders.

Most recently, Cooder scored PRIMARY COLORS, directed by Mike Nichols, which starred John Travolta, Emma Thompson and Kathy Bates, who won a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance.

Tim Robbins recruited Ry to produce tracks with Eddie Vedder and Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan and with Johnny Cash for the critically acclaimed DEAD MAN WALKING.

Ry has always been something of a music traveler, having devoted most of his career to an exploration of different areas and aspects of music. This has always been evident on his albums, from Paradise & Lunch, and BOP TILL YOU DROP, to BORDERLINE.

His children's record PECOS BILL which featured Robin Williams won the Grammy for Best Record for children in 1988.

Cooder remains one of todays most intriguing recording artists. In 1990 he joined John Hiatt, Nick Lowe and Jim Keltner in the band Little Village, and later released the Grammy award winning MEETING BY THE RIVER, a duo album with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, a virtuoso guitarist from the northern Indian state of Rajastan. He won a second World Music Album Grammy for his recording TALKING TIMBUKTU, with Malinese guitarist Ali Farka Toure in 1995.

Ry's current recording as a member of the BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB won the Grammy for the Best Tropical Latin Performance-1997. It's nice to have one thing feed into the other, says Cooder of his diverse career. "I do one project here and apply it over there. It's all a great education.

In a nutshell, to quote Ry: Music is a treasure hunt. You dig and sometimes you find something. In Cuba the music flows like a river. It takes care of you and rebuilds you from the inside out."


Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Ry Cooder Facts

Birth NameRyland Peter Cooder
OccupationMusician
BirthdayMarch 15, 1947 (70)
SignPisces
BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, USA

Selected Filmography

Cooder, Ry
This Ain't No Mouse Music!
Saturday Night Live
This Ain't no Mouse Music
Pecos Bill, Told by Robin Williams with Music by Ry Cooder
Max Milligan
Randy Newman
Buena Vista Social Club
Charlie Rose with Steve Reddicliffe, Bill Carter & Ken Tucker; Ry Cooder & Wim Wenders
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