Singer-songwriter Michael Bolton was born Michael Bolotin in New Haven, Connecticut. Bolton’s father, George, and mother, Helen, were also born in New Haven. As a boy, he lived with his family in several New Haven locations, including homes on Whalley Avenue, Elm Street and Ella Grasso Boulevard.
Prior to becoming the singing sensation known to millions of his loyal fans, Bolton was very active in the New Haven music scene. At a very early age, Bolton began composing songs. As a teenager, he performed and recorded as a solo artist under his given name Bolotin. He then became a member of a garage rock group called Joy, under the name Bolotin. “Bah Bah Bah” by Joy was a Top 40 hit in Connecticut. Bolotin (Bolton) was also the lead singer of the heavy metal band known as Blackjack. “Love Me Tonight” by Blackjack was a Top 20 hit on Buffalo’s WYSL radio station and in several other markets. Recordings took place at Wallingford’s Trod Nossel studios (formerly Syncron). The band opened for major artists, such as Peter Frampton. Blackjack performed in various music venues in the New Haven area, such as the legendary Toad’s Place (previously known as Hungry Charlie’s), located on York Street in New Haven, Connecticut.
Bolton went on to become the rock/soul icon Michael Bolton. Bolton has sold over seventy-five million records and won numerous impressive awards, including Grammys.
There is somewhat of a connection between Michael Bolton and the very popular 1960s band The Shags (of West Haven, Connecticut). Michael’s older brother Orrin was a roadie for the Shags, and Orrin introduced Michael to the band. Allegedly, Carl Augusto-Donnell (a member of the Shags) helped teach young Michael how to play the guitar.
NOTE: This write-up of Michael Bolton is copyrighted and taken from Tony Renzoni’s book Connecticut Rock ‘n’ Roll: A History. Purchase this book at: https://www.connecticutrocknroll.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or various other book outlets.