Who Knew Grammy Winner Bonnie Raitt Was From the Hudson Valley?
Legendary blues singer Bonnie Raitt credits her years growing up in the Hudson Valley for her success in the music business.
On Sunday night Bonnie Raitt shocked music fans, and herself, by winning Song of the Year at the 65th Grammy Awards. The 73-year-old beat out heavy hitters Beyonce, Adele, Taylor Swift and Harry Styles to claim the award. Raitt was visibly stunned while accepting the award.
I was equally as shocked when I learned that Raitt actually began her music career growing up right here in Poughkeepsie, New York.
I'm not sure why I never knew this, but Bonnie Raitt spent most of her childhood right here in the Hudson Valley. Born in Burbank, California, Raitt's family was actually bicoastal. Her mother was a pianist and her father, John Raitt, was a broadway actor which is how young Bonnie wound up in Poughkeepsie.
Bonnie Raitt was a student at Oakwood Friends School where she graduated in 1967 before attending Radcliffe College. Founded in 1796, the Oakwood Friends School is New York State's oldest co-educational boarding and day school serving grades six through 12.
The legendary singer says her music skills were honed during her years at the Poughkeepsie school as well as the summers spent with her siblings at Camp Regis in the Adirondacks.
Ten years after graduating from Oakwood Friends School, Raitt returned to Poughkeepsie for a concert at Vassar College to benefit her alma mater. The singer has continued to be a part of a special tradition at Oakwood Friends that continues to this day. According to the school, for the past few decades, Bonnie Raitt's music is piped through speakers under the Copper Beech graduation tree on the morning of graduation. The alumnus' songs signal to everyone that commencement ceremonies will be happening later in the day.