Father Figures: 100 Famous Musicians' Paternal Professions

If you're a Texan of a certain age, this week you've probably spent some time mourning the death of Jerry Haynes, the children's TV host better known as Mr. Peppermint. Haynes' show on WFAA-TV in Dallas, Peppermint Place, ran from the '60s to the '90s and was widely syndicated across the state, including in Houston. (Rocks Off is surprised it lasted that long... we never saw it.)

The worlds of puppet-strewn children's television and depraved psychedelic shock-rock don't often meet, but they did here. Mr. Peppermint's eldest son is none other than Gibson Haynes, better known as Gibby Haynes, lead singer, shrieker and Gibbytronix manipulator of the Butthole Surfers. This pair of oddball father-son professions naturally got Rocks Off wondering some other famous musicians' dads did for a living.

Several hours later, after combing Wikipedia, Google Books and many other Web sites, here are 100, grouped into a few reasonable categories. You'll find doctors, lawyers, engineers, laborers, farmers, teachers and plenty of musicians, some of whom were quite famous in their own right. There's even a few journalists and what we politely refer to as "deadbeats."

To paraphrase British author and composer Anthony Burgess - whose own dad was a bookkeeper and tobacconist - all of human life is here... all male human life, anyway.

Note: Sibling musicians are counted as one here. Since they had the same dad.


Beyonce & Solange Knowles: Mathew Knowles, Xerox employee/music executive

Julian Casablancas, The Strokes: John Casablancas, Elite Modeling Agency founder

Elvis Costello: Ross McManus, musician (trumpet, Joe Loss & His Orchestra)

Rodney Crowell: James W. Crowell, musician/bandleader

Flea: Walter Urban Jr. (stepfather), jazz musician

Billy F. Gibbons, ZZ Top: Frederick Royal "Freddie" Gibbons, musician/bandleader (piano)

Dave Grohl: James Grohl, journalist/speechwriter/campaign manager

Albert Hammond Jr., The Strokes: Albert Hammond Sr., singer-songwriter ("To All the Girls I've Loved Before")

Whitney Houston: John R. Houston, entertainment manager (Sweet Inspirations, Whitney's mom Cissy, Whitney)

John Paul Jones, Led Zeppelin: Joe Baldwin, musician/arranger (Ambrose Orchestra)

Anthony Kiedis, Red Hot Chili Peppers: John Kiedis, actor/drug dealer

Lenny Kravitz: Sy Kravitz, NBC News producer

Courtney Love: Hank Harrison, publisher/Grateful Dead road manager

Paul McCartney: James "Jim" McCartney, musician/bandleader (Jim Mac's Jazz Orchestra)

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Tim McGraw: Frank E. "Tug" McGraw, professional baseball player (relief pitcher, Mets/Phillies)

Elvis Perkins: Anthony Perkins, actor (Psycho)

Paul Simon: Louis Simon, musician (bass)

Pete Townshend: Clifford Townshend, musician (saxophonist, The Squadronaires)

Prince: John L. Nelson, jazz musician

Slash: Anthony Hudson, visual artist

Steven Tyler: Victor Tallarico, classical pianist

Eddie Vedder: Edward Louis Severson Jr., lounge musician

Amy Winehouse: Mitch Winehouse, cab driver/jazz singer


David Bowie: Haywood S. "John" Jones, PR Officer, Barnardo's (British charity)

Garth Brooks: Troyal R. Brooks, draftsman

Chris Cornell: Ed Boyle,. pharmacist

Sheryl Crow: Wendell Crow, attorney/musician (trumpet)

Bob Dylan: Abraham Zimmerman, manager with Standard Oil (later Amoco/BP)

Steve Earle: Jack Earle, air traffic controller

The Edge: Garvin Evans, engineer

Aretha Franklin: Rev. C.L. Franklin, Baptist minister/civil rights activist

Dave Gahan, Depeche Mode: Jack Gahan (stepfather), Shell Oil executive

David Gilmour, Pink Floyd: Douglas Gilmour, zoology professor, University of Cambridge

Mick Jagger: Basil "Joe" Jagger, PE teacher/basketball coach (designed some of his son's workout routines)

Janis Joplin: Seth Joplin, Texaco engineer

Simon LeBon, Duran Duran: John LeBon, London Water Board executive

Lady Gaga: Joseph Germanotta, Internet enterpreneur (Owner, Guest WiFi)

Lemmy: Sidney Kilminster, vicar/hospital superintendent

George Michael: Kyriacos Panayiotou ("Jack Michael"), restaurateur

Stevie Nicks: Jess Nicks, corporate executive

Jimmy Page: James Page Sr., industrial personnel engineer

Katy Perry: Keith Hudson, minister/evangelist

Robert Plant: Robert C. Plant, civil engineer

Iggy Pop: James N. Osterberg Sr., high-school English teacher/baseball coach

Linda Ronstadt: Gilbert Ronstadt, merchant/businessman (ran F. Ronstadt Co. livery/transportation outfitters, founded by her grandfather Fred Ronstadt)

David Lee Roth: Nathan Roth, opthamalogist

David Ruffin, The Temptations: Eli Ruffin, Baptist minister

Britney Spears: James "Jamie" Spears, building contractor

Scott Stapp, Creed: Steven Stapp (stepfather), dentist

Gwen Stefani: Dennis Stefani, marketing executive (Yamaha Corporation)

George Strait: John B. Strait, junior-high math teacher/rancher

Tina Turner: Floyd R. Bullock, Baptist deacon/farm overseer/factory worker

Tom Waits: Jesse F. Waits, Spanish teacher

Roger Waters, Pink Floyd: Eric F. Waters, schoolteacher

Florence Welch, Florence & the Machine: Nick Welch, advertising executive

Kanye West: Ray West, photojournalist/Christian counselor/former Black Panther

Dwight Yoakam: David Yoakam, gas-station owner

Neil Young: Scott Young, journalist/sportswriter


Emmylou Harris: Walter R. "Bucky" Harris, U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot/officer

Jimi Hendrix: Al Hendrix, soldier (U.S. Army, enlisted)/laborer/landscaper

Tommy Lee: David Lee Thomas Bass, Welsh army sergeant

Freddie Mercury: Bomi Bulsara, civil servant (Cashier/accountant, British government)

Jim Morrison: George S. Morrison, U.S. Naval Officer (Rear Admiral, retired 1975)

Diana Ross: Fred Ross Sr., soldier (U.S. Army, WWII)

Joe Strummer: Ronald Mellor, diplomat (British Foreign Service)


John Bonham: Jack Bonham, construction foreman

Bono: Brendan R. "Bobby" Hewson, postal worker

Johnny Cash: Ray Cash, sharecropper

Kurt Cobain: Donald L. Cobain, mechanic

Merle Haggard: James F. Haggard, migrant worker/laborer (oil fields)

George Harrison: Harold Harrison, bus conductor

Buddy Holly: Lawrence O. Holley Sr., tailor/clothing-store clerk

Ice Cube: Hosea Jackson, UCLA groundskeeper

Elton John: Stanley Dwight, milkman

John Lennon: Alfred Lennon, merchant seaman

John Lydon (Johnny Rotten): John Lydon Sr., laborer (construction)

Morrissey: Peter Morrissey, hospital porter (orderly)

Vince Neil: Clois "Odie" Wharton, machinist

Ozzy Osbourne: John "Jack" Osbourne Sr., toolmaker

Dolly Parton: Robert Lee Parton, tobacco farmer

Keith Richards: Bert Richards, factory worker

Rihanna: Roger Fenty, salesman/freelance clothing designer

Smokey Robinson: William Robinson Sr., bowling-alley pinsetter

Kenny Rogers: Edward F. Rogers, carpenter

Ringo Starr: Richard Starkey Sr., confectioner

Rod Stewart: Robert Stewart, carpenter

Jeff Tweedy, Wilco: Robert "Bob" Tweedy, Alton & Southern Railroad worker

Stevie Ray & Jimmie Vaughan: Jimmie Lee "Big Jim" Vaughan Sr., construction worker

Jack White: John Gillis Sr., maintenance worker (Archdiocese of Detroit)


Adele: Mark Evans, plumbing contractor (left family when singer was 3, they're somewhat reconciled)

Mary J. Blige: Thomas Blige, jazz musician (left family when Mary was 4)

Ray & Dave Davies, The Kinks: Fred Davies, butcher/gardner/bon vivant

Jay-Z: Adnes Reeves, left family when then-Shawn Carter was 12

Michael & Janet Jackson, etc.: Joseph "Joe" Jackson, boxer/guitarist/U.S. Steel crane operator/talent manager

George Jones: George Washington Jones, truck driver/pipefitter/musician

Lil Wayne: Dwayne M. Carter Sr., abandoned family when Wayne was 2

Willie Nelson: Ira Doyle Nelson, musician/sharecropper/mechanic/blacksmith

Elvis Presley: Vernon Presley, farmer/laborer/delivery-truck driver

Axl Rose: William A. Rose Sr., unknown (murdered in Illinois in 1984)

Stevie Wonder: Calvin Judkins, "pure street hustler"

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