Music to politics
April 2, 2008 8:32 AM   Subscribe

What musicians have successfully made the leap to politics?

Examples that come to mind are John Hall (late of Orleans, currently a US Congressman), and Peter Garrett (former lead singer of Midnight Oil, current Australian Environment Minister).

Any others?
posted by Chrysostom to Media & Arts (29 answers total)
 
Sonny Bono...
posted by benzo8 at 8:33 AM on April 2, 2008


sonny bono
posted by mailbox125 at 8:34 AM on April 2, 2008


Jimmie Davis, governor of Louisiana, who wrote "You are my Sunshine."
posted by thomas144 at 8:36 AM on April 2, 2008


kind of a stretch, since he has not won any of the political races he has participated in, but kinky friedman.
posted by mailbox125 at 8:38 AM on April 2, 2008


Arguably not enough of a musical career, but John Kerry was in a band, Once Upon a Time, and they did press 500 copies of an album.

The Brazilian Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:43 AM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Shoukichi Kina
posted by billtron at 8:44 AM on April 2, 2008


Shanty Chong Chui Lin from Sandakan, East Malaysia - she put out two albums (as a singer) in the 60s/70s.
posted by iconomy at 8:49 AM on April 2, 2008


Krist Novoselic, former bassist of Nirvana.
posted by kpmcguire at 8:54 AM on April 2, 2008


Former British PM, Edward Heath, started out as a pianist and chorister.
posted by rongorongo at 8:54 AM on April 2, 2008


Jello Biafra (depending on your definition of "success")
posted by mkultra at 8:55 AM on April 2, 2008


This may or may not qualify but, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, former guitarist for the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan, became involved in missile defense and chairs a defense advisory board.
posted by euphorb at 8:56 AM on April 2, 2008


Jeff Skunk Baxter of the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan chairs a US Congressional board on missile defense. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Baxter
posted by lothar at 8:57 AM on April 2, 2008


Midnight Oil's Peter Garrett.
posted by genghis at 9:01 AM on April 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


John Hall, representative of the 19th district of New York and former lead singer of Orleans.
posted by indiebass at 9:02 AM on April 2, 2008


oh yeah... I'm going to go learn how to read now.
posted by indiebass at 9:02 AM on April 2, 2008


And Peter Wishart of Runrig.
posted by genghis at 9:03 AM on April 2, 2008


Tony Blair
posted by fire&wings at 9:13 AM on April 2, 2008


Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens ran for the Senate but lost.
posted by Atom12 at 9:40 AM on April 2, 2008


John Ashcroft
posted by adamrice at 9:45 AM on April 2, 2008


Well, Sen. Orrin Hatch releases his own songs.. I am not sure if this started before he was running for office, though. :)
posted by citron at 10:03 AM on April 2, 2008


Carla Bruni released some pretty good albums, too. :)
posted by citron at 10:04 AM on April 2, 2008


Bob Geldof, in a way.
posted by rhizome at 10:17 AM on April 2, 2008


Both Nana Mouskouri and Dana became member of the European Parliament.
posted by Ulleskelf at 10:31 AM on April 2, 2008


Bill Clinton
posted by spakto at 10:38 AM on April 2, 2008


Charlie Angus.
posted by ewiar at 12:23 PM on April 2, 2008


Ruben Blades
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:30 PM on April 2, 2008


Gov. and US Senator "Pappy" W. Lee O'Daniel was a colorful character (like many Texas Governors). He was instrumental in the birth of western swing music, and though not a performing musician, he is credited with writing some classic songs such as "The Eyes of Texas". He was spoofed in the film "O Brother Whereart Thou". After two terms as Gov, he beat LBJ in a Senate race, the only person ever to do so.
posted by quarterframer at 12:40 PM on April 2, 2008


Bono, of course (you didn't say they had to leave music altogether)

Alan Greenspan (jazz musician, played with Stan Getz, etc.)
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:11 PM on April 2, 2008


Piggybacking on ewiar: Charlie Angus, formerly of Grievous Angels and L'etranger.
posted by maudlin at 3:43 PM on April 2, 2008


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