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From the world of music : “Greg Rollie”

By Ahmet Abdulaziz ….

In the world of music, sometimes it happens that we come across a very fantastic and hit song, but do not know the name of the singer, just because that particular song becomes popular with some other identification. “Black Magic Woman”, is one such song. We all remember this song, particularly for the generation of the 1960s, the music world is not complete without the “Black Magic Woman”.

Written by Peter Green, the song was first sung by Fleetwood Mac in 1967, but it became a real hit when Santana played it later on.

The name Santana is associated with “Black Magic Woman”.  Interestingly the name of Santana is so popular in the music world, that the singer of the song remained in the background, and only some remember the name of the singer.

Greg Rollie, the co-founder of the group Santana, sang this song. He remained the main keyboard player and lead singer for Santana until 1971. Greg Rollie had played an important role as singer and keyboard player, in establishing Santana in the music world. Here I do not mean to undermine the talent and quality of Santana himself, yet particularly in “Black Magic Woman”, both Gregg Rollie and Michael Shrieve (the drummer) had, in fact, played a major role in making it a great success.

Gregg Alan Rollie born in 1947 is an American singer and keyboard player. He served as lead singer for a number of bands including Santana, Journey, Abraxas Pool, The Storm and Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band.

Rollie has the distinction of being two time inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was inducted there for the first time in 1998 as a member of Santana, and secondly in 2017 as a member of Journey.

There is a long list of solo and group albums of Rollie, yet “Black Magic Woman” still remains his most popular song.

In 2005 Rollie started supporting Little Kids Rock, which is a non-profit organisation, providing free musical instruments and instructions to needy children who are interested in music. Thus he is trying to convey his knowledge of music to the new generation. He is one of the members of the Honorary Board of Members of the organisation.