1970: Norman Greenbaum

 Jan, 13 - 2014   no comments   1970s Music


Best-known for his 1970 hit “Spirit in the Sky,” singer/songwriter Norman Greenbaum was born November 20, 1942, in Malden, MA. He began his musical career while a student at Boston University, playing area coffeehouses before relocating to the West Coast during the mid-’60s and forming a kind of psychedelic jug band dubbed Dr. West’s Medicine Show and Junk Band. After issuing the 1966 single “The Eggplant That Ate Chicago,” which fell just shy of reaching the Top 50, the group disbanded, and Greenbaum subsequently formed a series of short-lived acts before finally returning to his solo career in 1968.

A year later he issued his debut LP, Spirit in the Sky, releasing several unsuccessful singles before reaching the Top Three with the smash title track, which sold some two million copies. It proved to be Greenbaum’s only hit, however, as follow-ups like 1970’s “Canned Ham” and the next year’s “California Earthquake” tanked; after the release of 1972’s Petaluma, he retreated from music to focus on his California dairy farm, but returned to show business during the mid-’80s in a managerial capacity, also promoting a number of concerts.

  • Pop/Rock
  • Religious
  • AM Pop
  • Contemporary Christian
  • Jesus Rock
  • Singer/Songwriter
  • Soft Rock
  • Contemporary Pop/Rock
  • 1970
  • 1968–present
  • Spirit in the Sky (1969)
  • Norman Greenbaum with Dr. West’s Medicine Show and Junk Band (1969)
  • Back Home Again (1970)
  • Petaluma (1972)


  • 5 Pennies – Norman Greenbaum
  • Alice Bodine – Norman Greenbaum
  • California Earthquake – Norman Greenbaum
  • Canned Ham – Norman Greenbaum
  • Country Lad – Norman Greenbaum
  • Daddy I Know – Norman Greenbaum
  • Dairy Queen – Norman Greenbaum
  • Damper – Norman Greenbaum
  • Day They Sold Beer in Church – Norman Greenbaum
  • In the Nick of Time feat. Joshua Bell / Edgar Meyer / Sam Bush / Mike Marshall – Norman Greenbaum
  • Japanese Silky – Norman Greenbaum
  • Jubilee – Norman Greenbaum
  • Junior Cadillac – Norman Greenbaum
  • Marcy – Norman Greenbaum
  • Milk Cow – Norman Greenbaum
  • New Dead Shrimp Blues – Norman Greenbaum
  • Petaluma – Norman Greenbaum
  • Skyline – Norman Greenbaum
  • Spirit in the Sky – Norman Greenbaum
  • Tars of India – Norman Greenbaum
  • The Day the Well Went Dry – Norman Greenbaum
  • The Eggplant That Ate Chicago – Norman Greenbaum
  • The Power – Norman Greenbaum
  • Weird – Norman Greenbaum

  • Dr. West’s Medicine Show & Junk Band
  1. http://www.spiritinthesky.com/
  2. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/norman-greenbaum-mn0000391003/biography

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