By 1961, Seger was leading a three-piece band called "the Decibels". He subsequently joined "Doug Brown and the Omens" as organist, but was installed as their vocalist and songwriter when such talents surfaced. The group made its recording debut as "the Beach Bums", with 'The Ballad Of The Yellow Beret', but this tongue in cheek version of the Barry Sadler hit, 'The Ballad Of The Green Beret', was withdrawn in the face of a threatened lawsuit.
The band then became known as "Bob Seger and the Last Heard" and as such, released several powerful singles, notably 'East Side Story' (1966) and 'Heavy Music' (1967). By 1968, he had five Top Ten singles in the Detroit market but was unheard of outside Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and a few other Midwest markets. In Detroit, his records outsold the Beatles.
He was on the verge of breaking on to the national charts in 1967, when his music label, 'Cameo', went bankrupt, putting a halt to his rising success.
Seger managed to get a new recording contract with Capitol Records in 1968 and the singer's new group, the Bob Seger System, enjoyed a U.S. Top 20 hit that year with 'Ramblin' Gamblin' Man'. Numerous excellent hard-rock releases followed, including the impressive "Mongrel" album, but the artist was unable to repeat his early success and disbanded the group in 1971.
Having spent a period studying for a college degree, Seger returned to music with his own label, Palladium, and three unsuccessful albums followed. He garnered considerable acclaim for his 1974 single, 'Get Out Of Denver', which has since become a much-covered classic. Seger only achieved deserved commercial success upon returning to Capitol when "Beautiful Loser" reached the lower reaches of the U.S. album charts (number 131)and produced a local Detroit hit "Katmandu".
Now fronting the Silver Bullet Band - Drew Abbott (guitar), Robyn Robbins (keyboards), Alto Reed (saxophone), Chris Campbell (bass) and Charlie Allen Martin (drums) - Seger reinforced his in-concert popularity with the exciting "Live Bullet", which was in turn followed by "Night Moves", his first platinum disc. The title track reached the U.S. Top 5 in 1977, a feat 'Still The Same' repeated the following year.
In 1983 Seger returned to the road with an altered Silver Bullet Band including ex-Grand Funk Railroad drummer Don Brewer, and continued to pound out the hit records with 'Hollywood Nights', 'Old Time Rock 'N' Roll' and 'We've Got Tonight'. "Against The Wind" also topped the U.S. album charts, while another live set, "Nine Tonight", allowed the him time to recharge his creative energies.
Among his later hit singles were the Rodney Crowell song 'Shame On The Moon' (1983), 'Understanding' (from the film 'Teachers' ) and the number 1 hit 'Shakedown', taken from the soundtrack of Beverly Hills Cop II.
Seger released his first studio album in five years in 1991. Co-produced by Don Was, it became a Top 10 hit in the USA, clearly showing his massive following had remained in place. A highly successful greatest hits collection issued in 1994 also demonstrated just what a huge following he still had. "It's A Mystery" came after a long gap, presumably buoyed by recent success and he followed with a box-office record-breaking tour of America in 1996. Ticketmaster claimed that the concert in his home-town sold 100,000 tickets in 57 minutes.
In June of 2000, Seger was charged with drunk driving and refusal to take a breathalyser test after crashing his BMW in Ontario, Canada. No one else was in the vehicle when it hit a tree. Seger pleaded guilty to the charge of refusing to give a breath sample and the charge of driving while impaired was dropped.
As the years rolled on, the hit records tailed off, although hardly a day went by that we didn't hear Bob singing a snippet of his 1983 hit, "Like a Rock" in Chevy truck commercials. March 16th, 2004 saw Bob Seger inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
September, 2006 brought a much anticipated new album, his first in more than ten years, "Face the Promise". In support of this latest effort, Seger was scheduled to tour for the remaining months of the year and into 2007.
Not much was heard from Seger until 2009 brought the partly retrospective "Early Seger Vol. 1" and it took him until January, 2011 to announce his next project, "Bob Seger: Ulltimate Hits", which was issued on November 21st of that year. Bob Seger And The Silver Bullet Band went back out on the road that Fall for a North American Tour which extended into 2012.
The rhythm guitarist on Seger's hit, "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" was future Eagle, Glen Frey.