Providence Lonely Hearts Club Band

many great people have lived in Providence
over the years, some achieving fame beyond the
close borders of Li’l Rhodie, and others making
their splash locally. What Cheer is attempting
to round up the ones we feel are
worth knowing here.

Walter / Wendy Carlos (1939 – . . .)

one of the most important pioneers of Electronic Music
was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 1939. Walter Carlos
graduated from Brown university in 1962 then moved to
New York City to further study Electronic Music. his introduction
to Robert Moog in 1963 changed music history forever. while
earlier recordings exist, it was his album ‘Switched On Bach
that made Walter Carlos a household name – that is until
he became Wendy Carlos in 1972 after having a sex change.
besides remaking classical recordings with synthesizers, Carlos
also made some of the most striking film soundtracks ever, among
them The Shining, A Clockwork Orange and Tron.

George M. Cohan (1878 – 1942)

Shep Fairey (1970 – . . .)


Shepard Fairey went to RISD where he
graduated in 1992. it was while attending college
in Providence that he created is iconic
Andre The Giant Has A Posse” image, which
was initially distributed throughout the world by
Fairey giving stacks of stickers featuring the image
to friends and bands when the travelled and
stuck the stickers in places near and far from
Providence. Fairey is also locally famous for his
defacing a Buddy Cianci campaign billboard,
replacing Cianci’s face with Andre the Giant’s.

Lisa Loeb (1968 – . . .)

Lisa Loeb attended Brown University from
1986-1990. while living in Providence, she performed
in a duo called Liz And Lisa with Elizabeth Mitchell who
later went on to release several excellent albums with the
band Ida. after graduating from Brown in 1990, Loeb
went on to become a solo performer and had a hit
in 1994 with her song “Stay (I Missed You)” which
was featured in the Reality Bites soundtrack.

Richard Merkin (1938 – 2009)

richard merkin teaching at risd

Richard Merkin’s photo is on the cover of the Beatles
album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
and as a RISD teacher in Providence he taught
Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth who later went
on to form the Talking Heads. Merkin was also
in the film The Great Gatsby. but he was also a painter,
illustrator and more. Merkin was known to visit What Cheer,
and on one visit, he came up to the counter and proudly
announced that he’d ‘found himself’ in the shop four or five
times, meaning he’d somehow sniffed out several
articles, books and photos featuring him
in various places at What Cheer.

Small Factory (1991-1995)


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