2019 INDUCTEES >> REBECCA THORESON
Category: Individual Artist
Rebecca “Becky” Thoreson is an accomplished singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who has appeared with stars of the stage and screen, including Buffy Sainte-Marie, Canned Heat, Karen Black, and Taj Mahal.
Becky began her musical journey at an early age, growing up in Algona, Iowa. She took up piano and flute, and she was a frequent vocal soloist who went on to become an Iowa All-State Musician.
Becky spent her summers in Okoboji, IA, developing a deep love of the Iowa Great Lakes, and grew up listening to legendary singer Marilyn Maye. Her grandparents were friends and fans of the singer, and they took Becky to The New Inn for the shows at an early age. At one show, Maye brought Becky up on stage to sing with her. She saw the sequins, the lights, and the band and knew it was what she wanted to do.
As a teen and young adult, Becky also took in the live music scene at the Roof Garden, hearing many classic rock bands through the years. While in High School, she was selected to join a musical touring group to study at the University of Exeter in England and perform on a tour of the European Continent.
Becky received her degree in Music Composition from the University of Utah, where she studied advanced piano and voice. She played concertos, sang arias, and took jazz improvisation, but her heart was always in rock and roll. She began listening to rock bands that used rock flute, and it pointed her a new direction.
While living in Hawaii in the mid-’80s, Becky was recording her first songwriting demo when Taj Mahal walked into the studio looking for a keyboard player. She was asked to play with the all-star band for the We Are the World, Kauai Benefit. They had two rehearsals, and then it was showtime.
Becky mixed sound for Doc Watson, Keith Carradine, and Ricky Lee Jones, and opened for such legendary performers as Edgar Winter and Leon Russell. Three years in a row, she performed on keyboard in the House Band at the Benefit for The Physically Challenged—featuring Former President Jimmy Carter—in Crested Butte, Colorado. Becky also toured extensively across the Southwestern United States with the band Chateau Flambeau, which headlined the Carbondale Music Fair in Colorado and appeared on the Austin Music Network in Texas. She performed with the iconic rock band Canned Heat at the 2008 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival during their Main Stage set as well as an encore performance.
While living in Telluride, Colorado, Becky wrote a weekly music column called Grooview for the Telluride Watch for several years, often interviewing Grammy Award-winning musicians who appeared at the world-class festivals there.
Becky is also an award-winning broadcaster who began her on-air career in Colorado, and she continues her work as on-air talent at Community First Broadcasting in Spirit Lake, IA.
Becky released an EP of original music in 2019.