Linwood Battle Jr.’s interest in music was sparked by the diverse styles of music he was exposed to as a child in his family home. Linwood’s father had a love of country tunes by Charlie Rich, Frankie Laine and other performers like Ray Charles and Lena Horne. His mother enjoyed great performers like R&B legends Al Green and Stevie Wonder.
Linwood was also exposed and enjoyed the Gershwin show tunes, which helped influence some of the wonderful melodies heard in Linwood’s original compositions today. Linwood says the first two significant albums he remembers in the family home as a child were Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder and Rainbow Seeker by Joe Sample. These albums awakened in him the desire to perform piano and keyboard.
In elementary school Linwood signed up for the marching band just as soon as he was old enough. He wanted to play the saxophone but his uncle had a trombone in the closet. Since it was free, as opposed to buying a saxophone, he began to study the trombone he already had. His first formal instruction was on the trombone at Stanton Elementary School in Washington DC. Linwood then went on to Johnson Jr. High and graduated from McKinley Technical High School, studying music at each school.