was born in Williamsburg, VA, and grew up in that combination college town
and tourist center, later attending the University of Miami and the
Berklee School of Music. He then spent years playing in bars and sending
demo tapes to record companies.
In 1980, he and his brother (and
songwriting partner) John Hornsby moved to Los Angeles, where they spent
three years writing for 20th Century Fox. There Bruce Hornsby met Huey
Lewis, who would eventually produce him and record his material.
Hornsby finally signed his band, The
Range, to RCA in 1985.
Their debut album, The Way It Is, was released in August 1986.
It eventually produced three Top 20 hits, the biggest of which was the
socially conscious "The Way It Is," which featured Hornsby's
characteristically melodic right-hand piano runs. The album stayed in the
charts almost a year and a half and sold two million copies. Hornsby and
the Range won the Best New Artist Grammy Award for 1986.
Hornsby's second album, Scenes From the Southside, was not as
successful as his debut, though it sold a million copies and produced the
Top Ten single "The Valley Road." Hornsby also began to make his
mark as a songwriter for others: Huey
Lewis had a hit with his "Jacob's Ladder," as did with "The End of the Innocence."