2019 INDUCTEES >> DAN SULLIVAN
Category: Individual Artist
Dan Sullivan was born in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, on January 9, 1954. His father was stationed there in the army, and after his discharge, the family moved back to his parent's hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. They would later move to Des Moines, Iowa, and after to northern New Jersey, before finally settling in Shenandoah, Iowa, in late 1967.
From a young age, Dan was taught to love music, especially from his paternal grandmother, Oka Sullivan, a professional pianist. He received his first guitar three years after seeing The Beatles on Ed Sullivan at age 10, and it was then that his musical love began to gel. From there, his influences were a diverse set of musicians including Hendrix, Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Duane Allman, and later on players such as Larry Carlton and Robben Ford.
Dan learned early on that great songs provide the framework and inspiration for great playing. He has always been fortunate enough during his career to work with other musicians who shared this philosophy. Dan’s musical collaborations include 8va (later known as Festival); The Union County Band; High Heel and the Sneekers; Living Proof; Acoustic Groove; and Peace, Love, Etc. With these bands and others he was privileged to share the bill with artists like Alabama, Badfinger, The Dirt Band, The Earl Scruggs Revue, Eddie Money, The Everly Brothers, The Greg Allman Band, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Spirit, and Tim McGraw.
Dan is also a published songwriter and during the ‘80s and ‘90s, recorded originals songs and others extensively with various bands—particularly High Heel and the Sneekers and Living Proof. From 1999 until 2017, Dan was a department manager at Dietze Music in Omaha, Nebraska and taught guitar as his schedule would allow.
Dan was, and remains, a live musician. He still plays extensively, dividing his time between Omaha-based Peace, Love, Etc., and the Union County Trio with his good friend Rick Hillyard. In 2018, Dan played well over 100 gigs and is on pace to do so again in 2019.
Dan and his wife Jan currently live outside Shenandoah. Throughout his travels, his love for his hometown has always endured. He considers himself blessed and lucky to still be able to do what he loves. He is deeply grateful for this honor and wishes to thank everyone involved, particularly his family, IRRMA, his current musical comrades, and especially his wife Jan, who remains at his side as he continues his musical journey.