In the 1970s and 1980s, one of the most popular classic rock bands in America was Kansas. The progressive rock group was formed in Topeka, Kansas in the early 1970s and possessed a unique mixture of artistry and musicianship that set them apart from other classic rock bands.
Kansas was founded in 1974 by Kerry Livgren and Robby Steinhardt with the help of an impromptu group of musicians that included Livgren's brother, Jeff, who sang and contributed guitar solos to many of the early songs. The band's original lineup also included Livgren's long-time friend, Steve Walsh, and his brother, Greg, both on keyboards, bassist Dave Hope and drummer Phil Ehart.
Kansas emerged from the Central Plains of America and soon achieved success on the national stage. Their first three albums--1974's Kansas, 1975's Song for America and 1976's Masque--all established the group's presence as one of the most creative and influential progressive rock bands of the era, selling over five million copies combined.
Kerry Livgren formed the band in 1974 and remained with Kansas until late 1983. Robby Steinhardt joined in 1974 and left in 1982 before reuniting with the band in 2018. Steve Walsh was with the band from 1974 until the end of 1980. Dave Hope joined the band in 1974 and Phil Ehart in 1975. Greg Livgren (brother of Kerry Livgren) was a contributing member from 1974-1975. Other members included: Larry Baker (1975-1976), musician/composer John Elefante (1982 to the present) and keyboardist/guitarist Billy Greer (1985-to the present).
Kansas has been a classic rock influence on many artists. Some of the most notable and prolific include Dream Theater, Yes, Deep Purple, Rush, and Europe.
Kansas is best known for their music with unforgettable songs such as “Carry On Wayward Son”, “Dust In The Wind”, “Point Of Know Return”, all staples of classic rock radio stations.
Although Kansas has collectively not released any music since the early 2000s, their influence in progressive rock music remains. They’re a must see for anyone looking for classic rock hits from one of the most powerful and lasting bands in music history.
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