About John Kay: German-born Canadian rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist known as the frontman of the rock band Steppenwolf (born: 1944) | Biography, Filmography, Discography, Bibliography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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John Kay
German-born Canadian rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist known as the frontman of the rock band Steppenwolf

John Kay

John Kay
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro German-born Canadian rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist known as the frontman of the rock band Steppenwolf
A.K.A. Joachim Krauledat, Joachim Fritz Krauledat
Is Singer Songwriter Musician Guitarist
From Germany
Field Music
Gender male
Birth 12 April 1944, Sovetsk, city district of Sowetsk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia
Age 78 years
Star sign Aries
Residence East Prussia, Prussia
Canadian Music Hall of Fame 1996
Canada's Walk of Fame 2004
Rock music
Psychedelic rock
Heavy metal
Folk music
John Kay
The details (from wikipedia)


John Kay (born Joachim Fritz Krauledat; 12 April 1944) is a German-born Canadian rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist known as the frontman of Steppenwolf.

Early life

He was born in Tilsit, East Prussia, Germany (now Sovetsk, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia). His father Fritz, born 13 June 1913 in Absteinen (Opstainys in Pagėgiai Municipality), near Pleskau was killed a month before he was born.

In early 1945, his mother fled with him from the advancing Soviet troops during the evacuation of East Prussia in harsh winter conditions. Their train got stuck near Arnstadt, which was first occupied by the Americans, but then became part of the East German Soviet occupation zone. In 1949, they crossed the already-fortified border to resettle in Hanover, West Germany (as recounted in his song "Renegade" on the album Steppenwolf 7). Now living in the British occupation zone, the young Joachim, who suffered from eye problems, who could not speak or understand English, was first inspired by and learned about rock ‘n’ roll music while listening to Little Richard on U.S. Armed Forces radio. He also saw a newsreel about the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, shot and smuggled out by László Kovács (later of Easy Rider fame). When his family moved to Toronto in 1958, teachers had a hard time pronouncing his birth name, so he was called John K instead. Five years later, they moved to Buffalo, New York.

Musical career

Kay in a performance in South Carolina, United States, on 1 January 1971

In 1965, invited by fellow German-born bass player Nick St. Nicholas (born Klaus Kassbaum), Kay joined a blues rock and folk music group known as The Sparrows, which had moderate success in Canada before moving to California, augmenting its line-up, and changing its name to Steppenwolf in 1967. With music that pioneered hard rock and heavy metal, Kay's Steppenwolf had international success with songs such as "Born to Be Wild", "Magic Carpet Ride", "Monster", "The Pusher", and "Rock Me".

Kay recorded both as a solo artist and with Steppenwolf during the late 1970s, and wrapped up Steppenwolf's 40th year of touring with what was to be a final gig in October 2007. However, Kay and Steppenwolf appeared on 24 July 2010 at the three-day HullabaLOU music festival in Louisville, Kentucky.

Awards and recognition

Kay's star on Canada's Walk of Fame

In 2004, although he never became a Canadian citizen, Kay was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in recognition of the beginning of his musical career in Toronto. Kay was present at the induction ceremony in Toronto and reiterated his strong affection for Canada. He was also nominated as part of Steppenwolf for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016 for the induction year 2017. In 2018, Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild" was one of the first five record singles to be inducted into The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

Personal life

Kay is married to Jutta Maue, whom he met in 1965 in Canada while she was working in a coffeehouse where Kay's band, The Sparrows, was playing. They have one daughter, Shawn. The couple founded the Maue-Kay Foundation, which supports human rights and the protection of wildlife and the environment.

In 2016, Kay credited his relationship with Jutta as part of the inspiration for Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride".

As of 2005, Kay has residences in West Vancouver, British Columbia, and Nashville, Tennessee.



Year Album Chart positions
1968 Steppenwolf 1 6
1968 The Second 2 3
1969 At Your Birthday Party 12 7
1969 Monster 11 17
1970 Steppenwolf 7 14 19
1971 For Ladies Only 54
1974 Slow Flux 47
1975 Hour of the Wolf 155
1976 Skullduggery
1980 Live In London (John Kay and Steppenwolf album)
1982 Wolftracks (John Kay and Steppenwolf album)
1984 Paradox (John Kay and Steppenwolf album)
1987 Rock & Roll Rebels (John Kay and Steppenwolf album) 171
1990 Rise & Shine (John Kay and Steppenwolf album)
1996 Feed the Fire (John Kay and Steppenwolf album)
2004 Live in Louisville (John Kay and Steppenwolf album)


Year Album Chart positions
1972 Forgotten Songs and Unsung Heroes 50 48 113
1973 My Sportin' Life 200
1978 All in Good Time
1987 Lone Steppenwolf (compilation)
1997 The Lost Heritage Tapes
2001 Heretics and Privateers

Solo singles

Year Single Chart positions Album
1972 "I'm Movin' On" 45 52 Forgotten Songs and Unsung Heroes
1973 "Moonshine (Friend of Mine)" 26 19 44 105 My Sportin' Life
"Easy Evil" 82 102
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 08 Apr 2022. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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