Garth Hudson early life, career, and more

Who is Garth Hudson?

Garth Hudson is the keyboardist as well as the saxophonist for the rock group Band. He was born on August 2, 1937. Described as “the most brilliant organist in the rock world” by Keyboard magazine, Garth Hudson is one of the only living members of Band. Described by Elton John as one of his early influences, Garth Hudson is a master of the Lowrey organ. He is also a skilled piano, accordion, and electronic keyboard player. 

Quick facts on Garth Hudson

Full nameEric Garth Hudson
Known asGarth Hudson
BirthdayAugust 2, 1937
Age85 years old
Sun signLeo
Place of birthWindsor, Ontario, Canada
EducationBroughdale Public School
Medway High School
University of Western Ontario

Early life, upbringing, and education

Garth Hudson was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. His father’s name is Fred James Hudson and his mother’s name is Olive Pentland. Both his parents were musicians. In addition to his, his father Fred also served as a fighter pilot in the First World War. 

Hudson was widely influenced by his parents’ musical career. He learned how to play the piano from a very young age. He also learned how to play the organ and the accordion. The musician has received classical training in piano, music theory, harmony, and counterpoint. He wrote his first song at the age of eleven. 

The legendary musician studied at the Broughdale Public School and Medway High School. After this, he studied music at the University of Western Ontario. However, he dropped out of college a year later. 

Garth Hudson career

In 1956, Garth Hudson joined a band called The Silhouettes. In 1958, Paul “London” Hutchins joined the band after which the group became known as Paul London And The Capers. Hudson used to play the saxophone as well as the piano in the group. 

In1961, Hudson was approached by Ronnie Hawkins and Levon Helm who offered him to join The Hawks band. Garth Hudson joined the band in December 1961. Other than Hudson, the other band members were Ronnie Hawkins, Robbie Robertson, Levon Helms, Rick Danko, and Richard Manuel. 

In 1965, The Hawk members were introduced to Bob Dylan. The band along with Dylan recorded the song “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?”. Likewise, they accompanied Dylan on his 1966 tour of the USA, Europe, and Australia. After this, The Hawks released their debut album Music from Big Pink in 1968. By the time the album hit the market, The Hawks had changed their group name to Band. 

After many successful releases, Band gave its final performance as a group in their final concert held on Thanksgiving Day 1976 in San Francisco. Following this, Band released their final album Islands. 

After the disbandment, Garth Hudson worked as a session musician. He lent his music to many movies as well as albums by other artists such as Emmylou Harris, Van Morrison, and Leonard Cohen. 

In 1983, Band reformed. Original member Robbie Robertson did not join the group. Likewise, another band member Richard Manuel committed suicide in 1986. Even after this, Band managed to release three albums in the 90s. 

In September 2001, Hudson released his first solo album The Sea to the North. The following year, Hudson formed the band Burrito Deluxe with Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Carlton Moody, Jeff “Stick” Davis, and Rick Lonow. 

Burrito Deluxe released two albums called Georgia Peach and The Whole Enchilada. In 2010, Hudson released his album Garth Hudson Presents: A Canadian Celebration of the Band. 


1980Music For Our Lady Queen Of The Angels’Buscador Music*CD release on Other People’s Music 2005
2001The Sea to the NorthWoodstock
2005Live at the WolfMake It Real*with Sister Maud Hudson
2010Garth Hudson Presents: A Canadian Celebration of the BandSony Music

Other Appearances:

1975The Muddy Waters Woodstock AlbumChess Recordswith Muddy Waters
1988Stay Awake (Various Interpretations Of Music From Vintage Disney Films)A&M RecordsFeed The Birds (From Mary Poppins)
2006The Harry Smith Project: Anthology Of American Folk Music RevisitedShout! FactoryNo Depression in Heaven (with Maude Hudson)
2013The Beautiful Old: Turn-Of-The-Century SongsDoubloon RecordsThe Rosary (1898), Till We Meet Again (1918)
2013Love for Levon (A Benefit To Save The Barn)Time LifeAppears with John Prine on “When I Paint My Masterpiece” and Dierks Bentley on “Chest Fever”

Film credits:

YearTitleWorked as
1978 The Last Waltz Performer
1980Raging BullAdditional music composer
1983 The King of Comedy Additional music
1983 The Right Stuff Additional music composer
1986 Man Outside Actor – Cheney/additional music
1990The Wall – Live in Berlin Performer
1993 The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration Performer
2003Festival Express Performer
2008 Here Is What Is Performer
2013 Love for Levon Performer

Awards and honors:

As a solo artist:

TitleCategoryStatus (year)
Canada South Blues SocietyLifetime Achievement AwardWinner (2002)
Hamilton Music SceneInstrumentalist of the YearWinner (2005)
Blues Hall of Fame“Legendary Blues Artist”Inducted (2012)
London Music AwardsLondon Music Hall Of FameInducted (2014)
Order of CanadaMember of the Order of CanadaMember (2019)

As a member of The Band:

TitleStatus (year)
Juno Award’s Canadian Music Hall of FameInducted (1989)
Rock and Roll Hall of FameInducted (1994)
Hamilton Dofasco Lifetime of Achievement AwardWinner (2007)
Grammy Awards Lifetime of Achievement Award Winner (2008)
Canada’s Walk of FameInducted (2014)

Similar Posts