|Al Kooper began recording with The Royal Teens in the late 1950s. The group had a top 10 hit with "Short Shorts" in 1958 and a top 30 hit a year later with "Believe Me".
After that early success, Kooper teamed up with songwriters Bob Brass and Irwin Levine to write "This Diamond Ring", a hit for Gary Lewis and the Playboys.
Kooper began playing guitar for sessions by artists such as Bob Dylan. During a session with Dylan, Kooper met blues guitarist Mike Bloomfield. Kooper and Bloomfield joined with Stephen Stills to record Super Session.
Kooper joined guitarist Danny Kalb, bassist Andy Kulberg, guitarist Steve Katz, and drummer Roy Blumenfeld to form the Blues Project which recorded three albums.
Two years later, Kooper formed Blood, Sweat & Tears. Kooper left Blood, Sweat & Tears after the group released its first album.
Kooper worked in Columbia Records's A&R department and recorded his first solo album, I Stand Alone. He continued to do session work for the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, the Who, and others.
In 1972, Kooper discovered Lynyrd Skynyrd in Atlanta, Georgia and formed his own record label to release their records.
In 1977 Kooper published his autobiography, Backstage Passes.
In 1980 Kooper produced a recording with country rocker Joe Ely then toured with Bob Dylan and the reunited Blues Project.
Kooper co-produced For The Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson in 1994.
In 1997, Kooper moved to Boston, Massachusetts to teach at the Berklee School Of Music. Unfortunately, his teaching career was cut short prematurely in 2000 by a debilitating condition which permanently robbed him of two-thirds of his sight. "What a great excuse to not have to drive in Boston!"
Kooper continues to make music with his Rekooperators and a Boston-based band of Berklee professors dubbed The Funky Faculty. Berklee has recently set up a scholarship fund in Kooper's name to assist handicapped students in overcoming any difficulties that would prevent them from attending the school. The Al Kooper It Can Happen Fund can be contributed to at any time through the Berklee School Of Music.