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Photo Gallery: Celebrating Tom Waits

Tom Waits is one of the most distinct voices in American music. I won't even try to hide my admiration for the man's career, which has included brilliant songwriting and musical explorations across genres, including blues, jazz, country and avant-garde. Last week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced it would induct Waits into its fold. Frankly, I'm shocked it took this long.

Did you know Waits grew up in San Diego? He graduated from Chula Vista's Hilltop High School and performed in local coffeeshops and bars before moving to Los Angeles.

Tom Waits is one of those musicians who knows how to perform for a camera. His presence fills the frame of a photograph. A lot of photographers must agree, as there is a brilliant collection of Tom Waits images out there. I've gathered some of my favorites for you in the photo gallery to the left.

What is your favorite Tom Waits song or album?

One of mine is the ballad "San Diego Serenade." Here is a young Tom Waits performing it in 1976. It's not the best video/audio, but it's still amazing.

Tom Waits performing "San Diego Serenade"

To Waits will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here he is performing "San Diego Serenade" in 1976.

The 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held March 14 at a black-tie ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

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