Gunnar MadsenView in iTunes
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Best known as the founder of the acclaimed a cappella group the Bobs, vocalist/composer Gunnar Madsen became obsessed with music as a youth after seeing the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, and after giving up the piano after six months of lessons, as a teen he taught himself to play guitar. He later studied classical piano as well, attending UC Berkeley and even working briefly as a messenger for a singing telegram company. Madsen co-founded the Bobs in 1981, and in the decade to follow the group earned not only a rabid cult following but also a Grammy nomination for their arrangement of the Beatles classic "Helter Skelter." At the peak of the Bobs' success, Madsen quit the group in 1991, studying acting and composing video game music for Atari; in 1997, he released his debut solo album Spinning World: 13 Ways of Looking at a Waltz on his own G-Spot label. The Power of a Hat followed a year later, and in 1999 Madsen returned with Old Mr. Mackle Hackle.