Ry Cooder

Composer, Musician, Record producer
Long before he had become the musician of choice to score Walter Hill films, as well as a frequent collaborator of German director Wim Wenders, Ry Cooder had established himself as a virtuoso of fretted instruments (i ... Read more »
Born: 03/14/1947 in Los Angeles, California, USA

Filmography

Music (67)

Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction 2013 (Movie)

("Paris, Texas") (Song Performer)

Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction 2013 (Movie)

("Paris, Texas") (Song)

My Blueberry Nights 2008 (Movie)

("Drume Negrita") (Song Performer)

My Blueberry Nights 2008 (Movie)

(Original Music)

Charlie Wilson's War 2007 (Movie)

Arranger("This Little Light Of Mine") (Music Arranger)

Meet the Fockers 2004 (Movie)

("A Meeting By The River") (Song)

Meet the Fockers 2004 (Movie)

("A Meeting By The River") (Song Performer)

The Big Bounce 2004 (Movie)

("Patricia") (Song Performer)

An Ordinary Crime 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Music

Besieged 1999 (Movie)

("Diaraby (traditional)") (Song Performer)

Buena Vista Social Club 1999 (Movie)

featured musician (Music)

A Civil Action 1998 (Movie)

("Hard Workin' Man") (Song)

Palmetto 1998 (Movie)

("Galleguita/Tutankhamen") (Song Performer)

Primary Colors 1998 (Movie)

("Wide Sky") (Song)

Primary Colors 1998 (Movie)

(Music)

The End of Violence 1997 (Movie)

("UFO Has Landed in the Ghetto") (Song Performer)

The End of Violence 1997 (Movie)

(Song)

The End of Violence 1997 (Movie)

(Music)

Last Man Standing 1996 (Movie)

(Music)

Dead Man Walking 1995 (Movie)

guitar (Music)

Retooling America 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Music

Geronimo: An American Legend 1993 (Movie)

(Music)

Trespass 1992 (Movie)

(Music)

Until the End of the World 1991 (Movie)

(Music)

Cadillac Man 1990 (Movie)

("Tattler") (Song Performer)

Cadillac Man 1990 (Movie)

(Song)

Cowboy Joe 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Music

Johnny Handsome 1989 (Movie)

(Music)

Steel Magnolias 1989 (Movie)

("I Got Mine") (Song Performer)

Steel Magnolias 1989 (Movie)

(Song)

The Man Who Was Death 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Music

Beverly Hills Buntz 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Theme Song

Cocktail 1988 (Movie)

("All Shook Up") (Song Performer)

Extreme Prejudice 1987 (Movie)

song producer("La Chancla" "Ay Jalisco No Te Rajes" "Que Te Vaya Bonito" "Pero Hay Que Triste" "Atotonilco" "La Feria de las Flores" "Por un Amor" "Relampago" "Las Golondrinas") (Song)

Extreme Prejudice 1987 (Movie)

source music producer (Music Producer)

Annie Oakley 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Music

Blue City 1986 (Movie)

("Blue City" "Don't Take Your Guns to Town") (Song Performer)

Blue City 1986 (Movie)

songs("Blue City Down" "Tell Me Something Slick and Make It Quick") (Song)

Blue City 1986 (Movie)

(Music)

Crossroads 1986 (Movie)

("Crossroads" "Willie Brown Blues" "Feelin' Bad Blues" "Butler's Bag" "Head Cuttin' Duel" "Walkin' Blues") (Song Performer)

Crossroads 1986 (Movie)

songs("Willie Brown Blues" "Feelin' Bad Blues" "Butler's Bag" "Head Cuttin' Duel" "Walkin' Blues") (Song)

Crossroads 1986 (Movie)

(Music)

Alamo Bay 1985 (Movie)

("Too Close") (Song)

Alamo Bay 1985 (Movie)

(Music)

Brewster's Millions 1985 (Movie)

(Music)

Brewster's Millions 1985 (Movie)

("In the Nick of Time") (Song)

Paris, Texas 1984 (Movie)

(Music)

Streets of Fire 1984 (Movie)

songs("Hold That Snake" "You Got What You Wanted") (Song)

Streets of Fire 1984 (Movie)

(Music)

Streets of Fire 1984 (Movie)

(Performer)

Southern Comfort 1981 (Movie)

(Music Arranger)

Southern Comfort 1981 (Movie)

(Music)

The Border 1980 (Movie)

songs("Across the Borderline" "Too Late" "Skin Game") (Song)

The Border 1980 (Movie)

(Music)

The Long Riders 1979 (Movie)

(Performer)

The Long Riders 1979 (Movie)

(Music Arranger)

The Long Riders 1979 (Movie)

(Music)

Blue Collar 1978 (Movie)

("Hard Workin' Man") (Song)

Blue Collar 1978 (Movie)

special music arranger (Music Arranger)

Goin' South 1978 (Movie)

("Available Space") (Song Performer)

Goin' South 1978 (Movie)

(Song)

Performance 1970 (Movie)

guitarist("Get Away" "Powis Square") (Music)

Brooklyn Bridge (TV Show)

Music

Calavera Highway (TV Show)

Performer
Actor (11)

This Ain't No Mouse Music! 2014 (Movie)

(Himself)

Buena Vista Social Club 1999 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

John Lee Hooker & Friends 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Farm Aid V 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Jim Henson's Ghost of Faffner Hall 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Showtime Coast to Coast: American Music 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Motion and Emotion 1989 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The 29th Annual Grammy Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Saturday Night Live 1976 (Tv Show)

Actor
Other (1)

The End of Violence 1997 (Movie)

score(uitar) (Other)

Biography

Long before he had become the musician of choice to score Walter Hill films, as well as a frequent collaborator of German director Wim Wenders, Ry Cooder had established himself as a virtuoso of fretted instruments (i. e., banjo, Mexican tiple, Middle Eastern saz), backing the likes of Gordon Lightfoot, the Rolling Stones, Randy Newman and Neil Young. Particularly renowned for his blues-flavored slide guitar he allegedly inspired Duane Allman, resulting in the distinctive sound of the early Allman Brothers albums. As much a musicologist as a musician, with interests and expertise that run a wide gamut of musical history and genres, Cooder has sought out and championed such local styles as calypso, Hawaiian "slack-key" guitar (recording with Gabby Pahinui), Tex-Mex, gospel, country, jazz and the bedrock Cuban rhythm 'son', among others, in a diversified series of albums beginning with "Ry Cooder", his 1970 solo debut.

Relationships

W Cooder

Father

Joachim Cooder

Son
born on August 23, 1978 played on "Buena Vista Social Club" album with father and appeared in documentary

Susan Titleman

Wife

Milestones

1999

Appeared and performed in the film "Buena Vista Social Club", a documentary follow-up to the 1997 album; directed by Wenders

1998

Scored Mike Nichols' "Primary Colors"; also wrote and performed several songs in film

1997

Teamed with Wenders again for "The End of Violence"

1996

Provided the score for Hill's "Last Man Standing", his 10th feature collaboration with the director

1996

Journeyed to Cuba, where he assembled pre-revolutionary Cuban music greats and recorded their old-school sound which was in danger of dying out; the result was the following year's Grammy-winning "Buena Vista Social Club", on which he also performed

1995

Played guitar and performed several songs (including "Over the Rainbow") for "The Wizard of Oz in Concert: The Dream Comes True", a TNT musical special

1992

Formed the band Little Village with John Hiatt, Nick Lowe and Jim Keltner; released debut album on Reprise Records (date approximate)

1991

Second collaboration with Wenders, "Until the End of the World"

1990

Appeared as himself in "Motion and Emotion", a documentary on Wenders

1989

Composed score for "The Man Who Was Death", a Walter Hill-directed installment of the HBO horror anthology series "Tales From the Crypt"

1988

Produced the concert feature "Ry Cooder & the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces: Let's Have a Ball"

1987

Composed theme music for the TV cop comedy-drama "Beverly Hills Buntz", a short-lived spin-off from "Hill Street Blues" starring Dennis Franz

1987

Credited as song producer and source music producer for a number of Spanish-language songs in Hill's "Extreme Prejudice"

1986

Wrote score for Michelle Manning's "Blue City", produced by Hill

1984

Composed the score for Wim Wenders' "Paris, Texas"; first collaboration with the West German filmmaker

1982

TV debut, provided music for "Brooklyn Bridge", a documentary directed by Ken Burns and aired on PBS

1980

First feature credit for music, Walter Hill's "The Long Riders" (also music arranger, music performer); first of many collaborations with writer-director Hill

1979

"Bop till You Drop" became the first major-label digitally-recorded album

1978

Composed and performed the song "Available Space" used in Jack Nicholson's "Goin' South"

1978

Credited as special music arranger for the song "Hard Workin' Man" in Paul Schrader's "Blue Collar"

1970

Sat in on the recording of "Little Feat", the debut album of Little Feat

1969

Played guitar and dulcimer on soundtrack of "Performance"

1969

First album as a solo artist, "Ry Cooder"

1968

Signed a solo recording contract

1968

Has claimed to have recorded extensively on the Rolling Stones' "Let It Bleed" album though only credited for the mandolin on the song "Love in Vain"; claimed to have provided the main riff for the Stones' "Honky Tonk Women"

1968

First film credit, performed on the soundtrack of "Candy"

1967

Played guitar on Mahal's debut album, "Taj Mahal"

1966

Became the guitarist for Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band; played on their first album, "Safe As Milk" (released in 1967); abruptly quit the band after touring Europe just before a scheduled appearance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival (thereby forcin

1966

Started the Rising Sons with fellow musician and musicologist Taj Mahal

1963

Played in an unsuccessful musical group with vocalist Jackie DeShannon

1951

Lost his left eye after accidentally sticking a knife in it at age four; began wearing a glass eye (date approximate)

1950

Began playing guitar at age three (date approximate)

Cut down on his session work during the 1970s to concentrate on solo career but did back Randy Newman ("Good Old Boys" and "Sail Away"), Arlo Guthrie and Van Dyke Parks

Worked as a session player on albums by various artists in the late 1960s, notably with Gordon Lightfoot

Performed music for numerous commercials

Became active in Southern Californian blues and folk circles

Bonus Trivia

.

On making "Buena Vista Social Club" after African musicians failed to show for the planned project of Afro-Cuban music: "I had a list and Nick (Gold of England's World Circuit record label) had his list of Cuban musicians we'd heard about over the years. I knew Company Segundo was around, who at 92, is the oldest sonero (singer of the son style) and songwriter. Ruben Gonzales (now 80) is the ultimate Cuban piano player, a true master, but people said he was dead or had arthritis. We found him. He had stopped playing and didn't have a piano, but we got him to come down. We didn't set out to work with the oldest musicians, but if you're going to make a great record, you have to have people who have that knowledge." --Ry Cooder, quoted in the BOSTON HERALD, June 17, 1999

.

"I made records for 35 years, and most of 'em sold four copies. I became an expert on what people didn't want to hear. So I'm a little dumbfounded that this music ("Buena Vista Social Club"), which I think is so much a part of another era, turns out to be something people do want to hear." --Cooder, to Tom Moon of THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, June 13, 1999

.

About his experience with the Cuban musicians of "Buena Vista Social Club": "When you work with people like that, it's like, This is where the water comes from. This is the headwater. I'm spoiled now. I can't go back to what I used to do." --Cooder, to Steffie Nelson in TIME OUT NEW YORK, June 3-10, 1999

.

"I saw people in my crew dance whom I've never seen dance before. They're stiff, they're Germans--but the music (of "Buena Vista Social Club") is so alive and spontaneous it completely took them over." --Wim Wenders, quoted in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, July 31, 1998

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