April 14, 1945

April14On this day in 1945, Richard ‘Ritchie’ Hugh Blackmore was born in Western-Super-Mare, England. His father was of Welsh ancestry and his mother of English.

When Blackmore was 11, his father gave him a guitar – but under the condition that he learned how to play properly. He took classical guitar lessons for one year. By 1964, he was working as a session player for Joe Meek’s acts, such as the instrumental band The Outlaws, and as a backing musician for acts such as Glenda Collins, Screaming Lord Sutch, Heinz, and Neil Christian.

Best known as the guitarist for Deep Purple, Blackmore joined that band in 1968 and left in 1975. He would spend another 10 years with the band, having reunited in 1984 until his departure once again in 1994.

Blackmore had a sizable history on the guitar, as well as with songwriting that ranged and continued far beyond Deep Purple. He formed Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, combining complex detailed classical music with blues and rock. Later he would form Blackmore’s Night, converting to a more pop style of rock, centring around the vocal sounds rather than his guitar.

Blackmore finally married his girlfriend of fifteen years in 2008, and had a daughter, Autumn, born in 2010 and a son, Rory, born in 2012.

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