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norman greenbaum net worth

Norman Greenbaum is a singer and songwriter from the United States. He got ideas for writing songs from Dolly Parton. The famous Rock Singer list includes Norman Greenbaum. In the 1960s, his hit song “Spirit in the Sky” brought him a lot of attention.

Early Life and Education


Norman Greenbaum is an American singer and musician who was born in Malden, Massachusetts, on November 20, 1942. Greenbaum was raised in a Jewish family that followed all the rules.

Norman started performing with different bands when he was in high school. For two years, he went to Boston University. During that time, he played at coffeehouses around town. He stopped going to college in 1965 and moved to Los Angeles.

Greenbaum started his first band in 1966. It was called “Dr. West’s Medicine Show and Junk Band.” The band made “The Eggplant That Ate Chicago,” a funny song that became a hit in the same year.

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In the late 1960s, “The Eggplant That Ate Chicago” by Dr. West’s Medicine Show and Junk Band, which was led and written by Norman Greenbaum, was a big hit.

The group’s psychedelic style was too weird for popular entertainment, and the name of the group made it sound like a novelty or comedy act that used music.

Greenbaum became a folk artist on his own and sent an original song called “Spirit in the Sky” to Reprise Records. Greenbaum played acoustic guitar along with himself on his demo tape, which was a simple folk song.

Greenbaum was given to Reprise’s staff producer Erik Jacobsen, who changed the song’s structure a lot for a new recording session. In the new version, Greenbaum’s voice was now double-tracked and accompanied by pulsing electric guitar, gospel-style backup singers, and a strong beat.

Reprise put out the record in late 1969, and almost everywhere in the world, it went straight to number one. In 1969 and 1970, it sold two million copies, and the RIAA gave it a gold disc. Since then, it has been used in a lot of movies, commercials, and TV shows.

Even though “Spirit in the Sky” is about Christianity, Greenbaum was and still is a practicing Jew. Greenbaum says that he got the idea for the song after seeing some country singers perform a song on TV.

Greenbaum said in an interview that “Spirit in the Sky” was really based on Western movies.


Norman Greenbaum: If you ask me what “Spirit in the Sky” was based on, I’ll tell you: what did we watch as kids? Westerns! The bad guys were shot, and they wanted to die with their shoes on. So I thought it was sacred that they wanted to die with their boots on.

Ray Shasho: So that’s what made you want to write the song?

Norman Greenbaum: Yes. The song itself was simple, which is to be expected when writing a song. It was just a simple song, not like a Christian song of praise. Because I had to use something, I had to use Christianity.

But what was more important wasn’t the part about Jesus; it was the spirit in the sky. Funny thing is, I wanted to die while wearing my boots.

All of the extras that were added to “Spirit in the Sky” in the studio made it impossible for Greenbaum to play the song live in the same way that it was recorded. Because he was going to be on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, the singer had to time his act to the hit record being played back.

Even though most people think of Norman Greenbaum as a “one-hit wonder,” he actually had two hits. In 1970, the upbeat “Canned Ham” made number 46 on the American charts and number 26 on the Canadian charts.