Born in Racine, Wisconsin, Ben Sidran first learned the piano at the young age of seven, and as a teenager formed a band with Boz Scaggs and Steve Miller. In the late 1960s, Steve Miller invited Sidran to join the Steve Miller Band, during which time he penned the hit Space Cowboy. Throughout his musical career, the singer-songwriter and producer also worked arduously on his PhD, with a thesis focusing on Afro-American culture and music published in 1972. In the 1970s and 1980s, Sidran hosted various jazz and rock shows for both radio and television. Released in 2006, the CD box-set Talking Jazz featured a series of interviews he did with NPR. In 2009, he released Dylan Different, an album of Bob Dylan covers.