Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack, Jr. (born November 21, 1940), better known by the stage name Dr. John (also Dr. John Creaux), is an American singer-songwriter, pianist and guitarist, whose music combines blues, pop, jazz as well as zydeco, boogie woogie and rock and roll.
Active as a session musician since the late 1950s, he came to wider prominence in the early 1970s with a wildly theatrical stage show inspired by medicine shows, Mardi Gras costumes and voodoo ceremonies. Rebennack has recorded over 20 albums and in 1973 scored a top-20 hit with the jaunty funk-flavored “Right Place Wrong Time”, still perhaps his best-known song.
The winner of five Grammy Awards, Rebennack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by singer John Legend on Monday, March 14, 2011.
In the mid-1970s Dr. John began an almost twenty-year-long collaboration with the R&R Hall of Fame/Songwriters Hall of Fame writer Doc Pomus to create songs for Dr. John’s releases City Lights and Tango Palace and for B.B. King’s Stuart Levine-produced There Must Be a Better World Somewhere, which won a Grammy for Best Ethnic or Traditional Recording in 1982. Dr. John also recorded “I’m On a Roll”, the last song written with Pomus prior to Pomus’ death in 1991, for the now out-of-print Rhino/Forward Records 1995 tribute to Pomus titled Til the Night Is Gone: A Tribute to Doc Pomus that also included covers of Pomus-penned songs by Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, Shawn Colvin, Brian Wilson, the Band, Los Lobos, Dion, Rosanne Cash, Solomon Burke and Lou Reed. According to Doc Pomus’ daughter, Dr. John and her father were very close friends as well as writing partners; Dr. John delivered one of a number of eulogies and performed with singer Jimmy Scott at Pomus’ funeral on March 17, 1991, in New York City.