Leon Redbone (born Dickran Gobalian, August 26, 1949) is an Canadian/American singer-songwriter and guitarist specializing in interpretations of early 20th-century music, including jazz and blues standards and Tin Pan Alley classics.
Recognized for his trademark Panama hat, dark sunglasses, and black tie, Redbone first appeared on stage in Toronto, Canada in the mid-1970s.
Redbone has released approximately fifteen albums and earned a sizable cult following. His concerts blend performance, comedy, and skilled instrumentals. Recurrent gags involve the influence of alcohol and claiming to have written works originating well before his time. He sang the theme to the television series Mr. Belvedere.
On May 19, 2015 on his web site, his publicist announced his retirement from performing and recording.
According to a Toronto Star report in the 1980s, his birth name is Dickran Gobalian, and he came to Canada from Cyprus in the mid-1960s and changed his name via the Ontario Change of Name Act. However, an article about producer John H. Hammond in a 1973 issue of the Canadian jazz magazine Coda states that he was a native of Philadelphia who moved to Toronto: "Sitting next to Hammond was a young white musician named Leon Redbone from Philadelphia, but currently residing in Toronto"...
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