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Singer-songwriter Grace Slick was one of the lead singers for the band Jefferson Airplane. She wrote the songs "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love".
Grace Slick - Mini Biography (2:11)
Grace Slick - Full Episode (45:19)
Grace Slick is a former model and a rock singer and songwriter who is best known for being the lead singer in Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship.
The full biography of Psychedelic Rock Star Grace Slick.
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Grace Slick was born October 30, 1939, in Chicago, Illinois. In 1965 she started her own group. Slick and her band became part of the San Francisco rock scene, and she befriended members of Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. After her band split up in 1966, she became one of the lead singers for Jefferson Airplane. She wrote two of their greatest hits, "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love."
Born Grace Barnett Wing on October 30, 1939, in Chicago, Illinois. She grew up as the oldest child of Ivan and Virginia, an investment banker and a former singer and actress. As a child, Slick idolized such performers as actress Betty Grable. She also admired characters from children's stories—Robin Hood, Alice in Wonderland, and Snow White among others—and loved to pretend and play dress-up.
Around the age of 3, Slick moved to Los Angeles, California, with her family for her father's work. They relocated to the San Francisco area a few years later. While there, the family grew to include her younger brother, Chris, born in 1949.
In school, Slick enjoyed her art and English classes, but she stood out more for her personality than her academic accomplishments; as a teenager, Slick became known for her sarcastic sense of humor. After high school, Slick went to Finch College in New York for a year before transferring to the University of Miami in Florida. All the while, Slick focused most of her energy on having a good time instead of studying. She soon decided to abandon college and return to San Francisco after a friend sent her an article about the burgeoning hippie scene there.
Back in Northern California in 1958, Slick took some time to find a direction for her life. She auditioned to be a singer, but met with little success. In 1961, she married Jerry Slick, a childhood friend and aspiring filmmaker. After a short stint in San Diego, the couple moved back to San Francisco. She soon found work there as a model for an I. Magnin department store, while Jerry studied at San Francisco State University. Slick also started writing music, contributing a song to the soundtrack of a short film created by Jerry.
In 1965, Slick found more musical inspiration after watching the band Jefferson Airplane at a San Francisco nightclub. She soon started her own group, calling it the Great Society. With their name, they poked fun at the "Great Society," a term used by President Lyndon B. Johnson to describe his programs for social reform. The band consisted of Jerry Slick on drums; Grace's brother-in-law Darby on guitar; David Minor on guitar and vocals; Peter van Gelder on saxophone; and Bard Dupont on bass. They found inspiration for their lyrics from the social and political turmoil bubbling over in the United States at the time.
Slick and her band became part of the San Francisco rock scene, and she befriended members of Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. After her band split up in 1966, Slick became one of the lead singers for Jefferson Airplane, after vocalist Signe Anderson left the group to focus on her family.
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