Legendary music producer Don Was began his life as Don Fagenson, growing up in Detroit, Michigan on a steady diet of Michigan R&B and The Rolling Stones. He even saw the Stones perform when he was just 12 years old during the group's Exile on Main Street tour. By the time he reached adulthood, he took on the stage name Don Was and founded the R&B group Was (Not Was) with his friend David Weiss, who took on the stage name David Was. The group released its self titled debut in 1980 and grew in popularity with 1983's Born to Laugh at Tornadoes and 1987's What Up Dog?, which spawned the funky hit single "Walk the Dinosaur." When Was wasn't playing bass with his band, he was picking up gigs as a producer, prominently helming Carly Simon's Spoiled Girl in 1985. Though he would continue with Was (Not Was) until the early '90s, producing soon became Was' main occupation, as he masterminded major works by artists like Bonnie Raitt, The B-52s, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Bob Seger, Ringo Starr, and perhaps most importantly, the Rolling Stones. Was would in fact produce four albums for the most beloved band of his youth, in addition to providing musical direction for movies like "Thelma and Louise" (1991) "Toy Story" (1995) and the TV special "The Beatles: The Night That Changed America" (2014), for which he won an Emmy. As the years went on, Was continued to produce projects for newer artists like John Mayer and Lucinda Williams. In 2012, he became the president of the prestigious jazz label Blue Note Records.
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Formed the R&B group Was (Not Was).
Released a self-titled debut with Was (Not Was).
Released the popular album <i>Born to Laugh at Tornados</i>.
Served as producer on Carly Simon's album <i>Spoiled Girl</i>.
Released the hit Was (Not Was) album <i>What Up, Dog?</i>.
Produced the landmark Bonnie Raitt album <i>Nick of Time</i>.
Produced Bob Dylan's <i>Under the Red Sky</i>.
Served as music director on the film "Thelma and Louise."
Released the Was (Not Was) album <i>Hello Dad...I'm in Jail</i>.
Won a Grammy as Producer of the Year.
Produced the Rolling Stones album <i>Voodoo Lounge</i>.
Served as music director on the film "Toy Story."
Produced the Brian Wilson album <i>I Just Wasn't Made for These Times</i>.
Produced the Rolling Stones album <i>Bridges to Babylon</i>.
Produced the Ziggy Marley album <i>Spirit of Music</i>.
Produced the Barenaked Ladies album <i>Maroon</i>.
Produced Hootie & the Blowfish's self-titled album.
Produced the Rolling Stones album <i>A Bigger Bang</i>.
Reunited with his bandmates from Was (Not Was) for the album <i>Boo!</i>.
Produced the John Mayer album <i>Born and Raised</i>.
Became the president of Blue Note Records.
Produced the Van Morrison album <i>Duets: Reworking the Catalogue</i>.
Played bass on the Brian Wilson album <i>No Pier Pressure</i>.