The charismatic Kansas violinist Robby Steinhardt turns 69 today

Kansas rose to prominence during the late 1970’s with songs such as “Dust In The Wind”

The charismatic Kansas violinist Robby Steinhardt turns 69 today

Robby Steinhardt is perhaps one of Rock’s most famous violinists. The Kansas band member was born on May 25, 1950, in Lawrence, Kansas. He was adopted by Ilse and Milton Steinhardt, the director of the music history at the University of Kansas, and that’s where he got his first taste for classical music, and by age eight he was already being trained to play the violin. Steinhardt’s violin sound and its interplay with the guitar and keyboards helped define the Kansas sound. He co-founded Kansas in 1972 as a violinist and back vocalist, when the band was still called White Clover. In 1974 they released their first album and became one of the most popular Rock bands of the late 1970’s, alongside Boston and Blue Oyster Cult. Kansas scored worldwide hits with songs such as “Carry On My Wayward Son” and “Dust In The Wind”, where his violin work defines some of the song most memorable parts. He has stated that joining a rock band caused him to develop poor playing habits, one of which is holding his violin to the side of his head in order to hear himself better through the guitar amps and PA system. After departing from Kansas in 1982, he fronted his own band, Steinhardt-Moon and was a member of the Stormbringer Band from 1990 to 1996. Ever since he has gone in and out of the band, and currently, he’s replaced by David Ragsdale (his original replacement). Steinhardt has been often referred as the most charismatic member of Kansas and as his former fellow band member, Kerry Livgren stated: “Robby had a unique function as a violinist, second vocalist, and MC in a live situation. Robby was the link between the band on the stage and the audience.

Watch the 1977 music video for “Dust In The Wind”, one of Kansas most memorable songs



Also watch the 1976 music video for “Carry On My Wayward Son” by Kansas featuring the back vocals of Robby Steinhardt



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