Kansas

1970-1983, 1986-
Kerry LivgrenGuitar, keyboards1970-1986
Steve WalshVocals, keyboards1971-1981, 1986-2014
Robby SteinhardtViolin, vocals1970-1986
Richard WilliamsGuitar1970-
Phil EhartDrums1970-
Dave HopeBass1970-1986
John ElfanteVocals1981-1986
Steve MorseGuitar1986-1991
Billy GreerBass1986
David RagsdaleViolin, guitar2006-
David ManionVocals, keyboards2014-2018
Ronnie PlattVocals, keyboards2014-
Zak RizviGuitar2016-
Tom BrislinKeyboards2018-
  • Songs
  • Artistfacts ®
  • They were interviewed for a VH1 Behind The Music, but the show was never produced because their off-stage lives were too dull.
  • They started out playing bars in the Midwest. They hated playing cover songs, but had to because the bar owners would not let them play originals. They got around it by playing their own songs and saying they were new songs from The Allman Brothers.
  • Topeka is the capital of Kansas. That's where they formed.
  • While they formed in Kansas, they've done the majority of their recording in Nashville, Tennessee, the capital of country music.
  • Morse, before joining Kansas, had been a commercial airline pilot. He had also played with Dixie Dregs and the Steve Morse Band.
  • Livgren is a born-again Christian. He recorded a solo album called Seeds Of Change that stayed on the Gospel charts for a year and a half.
  • The band began as Kansas, then changed their name to White Clover with the addition of Steinhardt. They changed it back before the release of their first album.
  • Steinhardt's father was the chairman of the music history department at the University of Kansas. When the family traveled to Europe, Robby played violin with several orchestras there.
  • Where Livgren found success as a performer of Christian music, Elefante became a producer of contemporary Christian music.
  • John Elefante produced at least one album for the band Scarecrow and Tinmen.
  • Robbie Steinhardt had a band in Tampa called Steinhardt/Moon for years. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    chas - tampa, FL, for above 2
  • Steinhardt is the only original member not from Topeka. He was the concertmaster of the Lawrence, KS High School orchestra. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mark - Fort Worth, TX
  • Kansas received their first recording contract after one of their demo tapes landed on the desk of recording executive Don Kirshner, one of the biggest names in pop music. Kirshner wanted to hear the band live before signing, so he sent his assistant, Wally Gold, to check out the band at one of their local gigs. When Kansas got wind that he was coming to their show they posted signs advertising free beer at their concert. Gold reported that they had a huge crowd - Kirshner thought that if they could draw a crowd like that he should sign them.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 23

  • Greg Hoppe from Cameron, MoActually there are two(2) original members of Kansas that were not from Topeka, Kansas. Yes, Robby Steinhardt was from Lawrence, Kansas, but Steve Walsh was from St. Joseph, Missouri.
  • John from Coloma, MiWeather channel Local on the 8s uses an instrumental portion of Song for America, probably my favorite Kansas song.
  • Sarah from Quincy, IlThere's an instrumental song played during "Weather on the 8s" on the Weather Channel that is definitely Kansas. Does anyone know what it is called?
  • Steve from Bonner Spgs, KsI saw the last show of the Audio Visions tour, in 1983(?). Kansas at Kansas(University, Allen Field House). What a concert. Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh would never be in the band simultaneously again. It was never the same. I saw them again in 1996, Walsh in, Livgren out. The music was great but Walsh's stage hijinx were hampered by bad knees(no keyboard handstands) and his vocals suffered due to loss of control.
  • Steve from Bonner Spgs, Ks Kansas was unique. Their music was definitely rock, but it was the composition that set them apart. Not content to just write songs, they incorporate extensive development and restatement, modulating through multiple key signatures and incorporating odd and multiple meters. Blend violin and synthesizers to complete an orchestral feel and meld with rocking guitars and a great bass/drums combo and you get really intelligent rock.
    In my opinion, the first 3 albums(Kansas, Song for America, Masque) were the most creative, extensive pieces, maybe too much for most people to digest. Leftoverture was the perfect blend of expression and commercialism with Point of Know Return a worthy sequel. Monolith and Audio Visions brought their golden age to a close.
    While I enjoyed some of the songs of Kansas' later years, I honestly don't know the names of the albums and didn't follow them much after that.
    My favorite song is Cheyenne Anthem off Leftoverture. It makes my tear up every time.
  • P from Z, United Statescarry on wayward son was featured on guitar hero 2
  • Randy from Colerain Twp., OhI personally don't even think "Carry On, Wayward Son" is their best song- I only recall it being their 'breakthrough' song. I think that "Point of No Return" is better than that. "Dust in the Wind" is definitely a good song, but again not their best. "Song for America" is truly a beautiful song, but I don't think that it was one of those songs that would have broken through the charts the way that "Carry On'" and "Dust'" did.
  • Ken from Highland Park, Nj play the game tonight was definetly one of the best songs kansas ever did john elfante wrote the song but never got credit for it
  • Tom from Philly, Njsaying ho to my old peeps in tampa and jax// tom lesko!! stay in touch.. someone!
  • Sarah from Quincy, IlWhat about "The Wall"? I've always loved that song, but until I became a Christian myself did not realize that it is about being awakened spiritually (and, in a roundabout way, accepting Christ as a personal Savior). The album rock station in a town where I used to live played it regularly into the 1990s.
  • John from Frederick, MdThis is the first time I've been here, and I must admit, I'm enjoying the comments I've read so far. "Carry On, Wayward Son", although a huge hit, was, according to Kerry Livgren, the worst song he'd ever written, and look at how popular it became. If anybody is into Kansas, they will tell you that there is so much better music on their albums than what you hear on the radio.
  • Mike from Germantown, MdWasn't "Dust in the Wind" used in a car commercial or something? Because I remember hearing a song that sounds like this on it.
  • David from Broomall, PaI've basically only heard Kansas' mid 70's music, and I appreciate their creativity...I remember when "Dust in the Wind" was the song proposed for my high school's prom (in 1978), but there was some controversy regarding the theme of the song itself (perhaps not "uplifting' enough)...I enjoy many of their songs (from the 70's), and I feel that "Song for America" is a beautiful song...thanks, Kansas
  • Ken from Dupont, PaThe difference between Kansas and The Stones is that the Stones have some 200 songs that will still be played 50 years from now; Kansas has TWO. Kansas is definitely a great band. They've made some great songs that you rarely hear on the radio, like "People Of The Southwind", "Portrait (He Knew)", "Play The Game Tonight", "Fair Exchange", Rainmaker" and a couple more that just don't come to me right now.

    There are very few bands that can even hold a candle to what the Stones have accomplished in rock 'n' roll over their 44 years in the business. "Satisfaction" is NOT the only Stones song you'll ever hear getting airplay. Listen to a real rock station and you'll hear about 100 Stones STAPLES and as many 250 GREAT Stones tunes. In fact, as a lifelong Stoneshead, I would rank "Satisfaction" as about the Stones 40th best song. And others have ranked it as the greatest song ever. That said, then the Stones must have pretty damn good songs under their belt.
  • James from Windsor, CaKansas' greatest hits album... it wins the "Album Played the Most" award in my collection.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, Schow come "carry on wayward Son" and "dust In the wind" are the only kansas songs you hear on the radio? They're good songs, but c'mon!
  • Micah from Huntington Beach, Cakansas is really boring . they need some pzazz to them. at least otehr bands have something original about them
  • Chuck from Mtn. View, ArAny time someone says "oh, this is the best song" or "this is the worst song" it doesn't mean anything. People are always giving their opinions about who is the greatest band or what is the greatest song. It's just someones opinion and really, who cares? What matters is what piece of music will stand the test of time. People will still be playing "Dust In The Wind" and "Carry on Wayward Son" fifty years from now. Long after most of the artists we know today are gone and completely forgotten. The ONLY reason people remember groups like the Rolling Stones is because they aren't dead yet and they insist on touring when they should have retired 25 years ago.

    "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" which was voted "The Greatest Rock Song of All Time" is musically and lyrically a piece of garbage. It is repetative, obnoxious and boring. Compare that to "Dust In The Wind" or "C.O W.S", I don't think so. That's my opinion.
  • Dick from Detroit, MiKansas kicks major ass! Although I don't entirely agree that "Carry On Wayward Son" is a bad song, when you listen to other Kansas material, you notice that it sounds nothing like the rest of their work. This is for better or worse depending on personal preference.
  • Sdfsdf from U.s., Il"Carry on wayward son" is mediocre at best. Unless you're into commercial rock. Their best song? That's like saying Boston's best song is "More than a feeling". When you compare it to the rest of their stuff, it's terrible. Both bands."
    are you serious? those songs are the more popular because they are the best. those are 2 of the most well known and most popular songs in all of classic rock
  • Jacob from Pinebluff, NcHas anyone ever heard of a song called "dust in the wind", hello!
  • David from Lubbock, Tx"Carry on wayward son" is mediocre at best. Unless you're into commercial rock. Their best song? That's like saying Boston's best song is "More than a feeling". When you compare it to the rest of their stuff, it's terrible. Both bands.
  • Brock from Coalport, Pakansas is the best old group that ever played. "carry on wayward son" is the best song played by them !!!!! :-)
see more comments

Loudon Wainwright IIISongwriter Interviews

"Dead Skunk" became a stinker for Loudon when he felt pressure to make another hit - his latest songs deal with mortality, his son Rufus, and picking up poop.

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17Songwriter Interviews

Martyn talks about producing Tina Turner, some Heaven 17 hits, and his work with the British Electric Foundation.

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real GroupSong Writing

The leader of the Modern A Cappella movement talks about the genre.

Mike Scott of The WaterboysSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Whole Of The Moon" and "Red Army Blues," and why rock music has "outlived its era of innovation."

Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of WayneSongwriter Interviews

The guy who brought us "Stacy's Mom" also wrote the Jane Lynch Emmy song and Stephen Colbert's Christmas songs.

The Truth Is Out There: A History of Alien SongsSong Writing

The trail runs from flying saucer songs in the '50s, through Bowie, blink-182 and Katy Perry.