This Sunday is The Day of Heinous Neckties And Obligatory Sentiment (otherwise known as Father’s Day). But while you’re taking your ‘Pop’ out for a steak dinner and forking over a greeting card, there are others out there who are watching their father from the side stage, bathed in spotlight and adulation. These are the children of famous musicians and many have felt compelled to venture down that same career path.
Here we’ve pinpointed 10 family trees in which music has been the most dominant gene. Which father-child pairings did we leave out? Tell us in the comments section below.
Tim Buckley > Jeff Buckley
Before becoming one of the most distinguished vocalists of the ’60s, Tim Buckley married his high school girlfriend and conceived son Jeff Buckley. The tumultuous relationship between Jeff’s parents was short-lived – the two divorced in 1966, the month before Jeff was born – and Jeff met his father only once, at age 8. But he shared his affection for experimental folk, releasing his magnificent debut album, Grace, in 1994. Tragically, Jeff also followed his father to an early grave. Tim Buckley died of a heroin overdose at age 28, while Jeff Buckley drowned in a rain-swollen Mississippi River at age 30.
Johnny Cash > Rosanne Cash
Johnny Cash’s love affair with June Carter Cash has become of the most treasured narratives in modern music, but it was his first marriage to Vivian Liberto that produced Grammy-winning singer-songwriter daughter Rosanne Cash. Rosanne, Johnny’s eldest child, has enjoyed a successful career as a country artist, particularly during the ’80s. She’s had 11 singles climb to No. 1 on the country chart.
Olu Dara > Nas
It was Olu Dara’s superstar hip-hop artist son, Nas, who first encouraged him to record the jazz music he was playing with his band. Olu Dara released his solo debut, In The World: From Natchez to New York, in 1998, four years after contributing cornet to a track on his son’s first album. With a flair for avant-garde jazz, Olu Dara is proficient on both trumpet and guitar and has paired with Nas for several recordings.
Bob Dylan > Jakob Dylan
Arguably the most famous father-son pairing on this list, Bob Dylan and his son Jakob Dylan have both managed to stake some serious claims in their respective genres. The youngest of Bob Dylan’s four children with first wife Sara Dylan, Jakob Dylan had some daunting shoes to fill, as the son of the world’s best-loved folk artist. But with his hit band The Wallflowers, and his subsequent solo albums, he’s crafted a career and an enigmatic persona all his own.
George Harrison > Dhani Harrison
Son of Beatle George Harrison, Dhani Harrison made a name for himself as a professional musician after his father’s death, co-producing George’s posthumous album Brainwashed in 2001 and participating in the Concert for George alongside Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton. In 2006, Dhani introduced his own rock band, the critically acclaimed Thenewno2, for which he is vocalist and guitarist. Of the band’s name, Dhani has said, “I wanted it to be a faceless entity, because I didn’t want to be Dhani Harrison and the Uncles, or whatever. There was just too much flak around the name ‘Harrison’ at the time.”
John Lennon > Sean Lennon and Julian Lennon
The only son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon was practically reared in recording studios, tracking his first vocals at age 5 on Ono’s 1981 album Season of Glass. Sean continued to collaborate with his mom throughout his teenage years, also co-writing a song on Lenny Kravitz’s Mama Said album at the age of 16. He’s been equally prolific in his adult life, releasing albums both on his own and with his band Cibo Matto, as well as producing film scores and albums for other artists. Sean’s half-brother, Julian Lennon – Lennon’s son with first wife Cynthia Powell – also established his place in the music business early on. After his father presented a 10-year-old Julian with a Gibson Les Paul, he picked up guitar and drums, which he played on John Lennon’s Walls and Bridges album at age 11. Julian’s fifth album is due out in early 2011.
Bob Marley > Ziggy Marley and Damian Marley
Of the 11 he fathered, Bob Marley was bound to have at least a couple of musically inclined children. Ziggy, the oldest son of Bob and Rita Marley, has honored his father’s legacy with his roots reggae group Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers. Likewise, Damian Marley – the only child of Bob and his beauty queen wife Cindy Breakspeare – has twice won a Grammy for Best Reggae Album. Though they enjoy international success, both of Marley’s sons are icons in their native Jamaica.
Elvis Presley > Lisa Marie Presley
When Lisa Marie Presley was a small child, she called Graceland home and Elvis Presley “Daddy.” The only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie was 35 by the time she got around to issuing her long-awaited debut album, To Whom It May Concern. The album did remarkably well, reaching No. 5 on the Billboard chart. The 2005 follow-up, Now What, also faired well on the charts. Though Presley has largely remained out of the spotlight in recent years, she is said to be planning a relaunch of her career.
Frank Sinatra > Nancy Sinatra
Nancy Sinatra’s career looked to be getting off to a modest start in the early 1960s, but then she had a major hit in 1966 with “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” which hit No. 1 all around the world. The daughter of crooner Frank Sinatra, Nancy had another No. 1 hit the following year, dueting with her father for her second single “Somethin’ Stupid.” Incidentally, the song is the first and only instance of a father-daughter No. 1 song in America. In recent years, Nancy’s cover of Cher’s “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” (featured in Quentin Tarantino’s film Kill Bill Vol. 1) has brought new awareness to the 70-year-old’s work.
Hank Williams > Hank Williams Jr.
One of the most famous country stars of all time, Hank Williams died young but left behind a rich musical lineage, as well as a string of enduring hits including “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Hey Good Lookin’” and “Jambalaya (On the Bayou).” Williams’ son Hank Jr. was only four when his dad died, but by age 8, Junior was already performing his father’s songs on-stage. Managed by his mother, Hank Jr.’s early work was largely influenced by his father but in time he crafted his own distinct sound, earning praise especially for 1976’s Hank Williams, Jr. and Friends.