Blackjack was an American rock band, active 1979–1980, featuring Michael Bolton (who was performing under his real name, Michael Bolotin), Bruce Kulick, Sandy Gennaro and Jimmy Haslip. The band was short-lived, released two albums, the self-titled Blackjack in 1979 and Worlds Apart in 1980, and embarked on a small US nationwide tour. Blackjack was formed in late 1978 after Bruce Kulick had come off the road touring with Meat Loaf behind the Bat Out of Hell album. Kulick and his older brother Bob had done a show backing up Michael Bolton, then a solo artist with two albums, at a club show in Connecticut. Afterwards both Kulick brothers were invited to join Bolotin in a proper band. While Bob declined, Bruce accepted. The band's manager Steve Weiss, also an attorney for Led Zeppelin, brought drummer Sandy Gennaro and bassist Jimmy Haslip into the fold to complete the line-up.
The band was quickly signed to Polydor Records and named Blackjack. At the behest of their record company and management, the foursome went to work with producer Tom Dowd at Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida to record their debut album. Blackjack was released in 1979 and peaked at No. 127 on the Billboard charts selling around 100,000 copies. The album's biggest single, "Love Me Tonight", reached No. 62 on Billboard. Blackjack shot videos for both "Without Your Love" and "Love Me Tonight", which were part of a 9-minute promotional movie circulated by the label, and toured with acts such as Peter Frampton and the Marshall Tucker Band. In 1980, Bruce Kulick played guitar on Billy Squier's solo debut album, The Tale of the Tape, produced by Eddie Offord of Yes fame. Offord also became the producer for Blackjack's second album Worlds Apart. But, with the disappointing sales of their debut album and a regime change at Polydor, Blackjack were no longer a priority act at the label and Worlds Apart was released in 1980 with very little backing and no tour support from the record company. It spelled the end for Blackjack as individual members had opportunities and offers to join more promising musical situations.
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