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Jay Ferguson

An American rock and roll musician, known for his work with Spirit and Jo Jo Gunne, and his 1978 solo hit "Thunder Island".

His later career has been as a composer of music for television programs and films.

He grew up in the cities of Van Nuys and then Canoga Park. When Ferguson was twelve, his parents encouraged his musical abilities with classical piano lessons. When he was sixteen, Ferguson's interest transferred to the banjo.

Along with his brother Tom, an accomplished fiddle player, he formed a bluegrass group called The Oat Hill Stump Straddlers including Michael Fondiler and Steve Fondiler. Ferguson was a member of local garage bands, Western Union and The Red Roosters.

He also held part-time jobs at different points as a theater usher and architect's assistant for his father John Ferguson, taught piano in a music store, and studied at UCLA after high school.

Spirit was founded in the mid 1960s. Practically every musician of the time cited The Beatles and their music as an influence, and Ferguson was no exception. Reuniting with longtime musician friends Randy California and California's stepfather Ed Cassidy, Ferguson joined with them to form a jazz influenced rock group that was originally called Spirits Rebellious, after a Khalil Gibran passage.

Ferguson and Mark Andes decided to leave Spirit in the early 1970s and form their own band.

Ferguson became the sole songwriter for Jo Jo Gunne, serving as its only lead vocalist.

In 1982, after his sixth and last solo album, White Noise, Ferguson decided to become a soundtrack composer for movies and television. To date, he has written music for over 15 feature movies and many TV shows.

His most recognizable composition as a TV and film scorer is the theme to the US version of The Office, which won him the 2007 Film & TV Music Award for Best Score for a Comedy Television Program.

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