Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gerry Rafferty: 1947 - 2011

by Larry Simons
January 4, 2011

Tragically, 2011 has begun with another great loss in the music world. Gerry Rafferty, who began his career with the band Stealers Wheel in the early 70’s before enjoying solo success with the monster hit “Baker Street”, has died of liver failure at age 63.

Lost in the enormous success of “Baker Street” are Rafferty’s other hit songs, such as his near top 10 hit [and my personal favorite] “Right Down the Line”, “Home and Dry”, “Get It Right Next Time" and “Days Gone Down (Still Got That Light In Your Eyes)”. Rafferty also scored big in 1973 with the hit “Stuck In the Middle With You” as the leader of Stealers Wheel.

Rafferty had been ill since early 2009 suffering from alcoholism. In November of 2010 he was admitted to a hospital in Bournemouth, Dorset, suffering from liver failure and given a low probability of survival.

Although Rafferty’s smash hit “Baker Street” was his first big solo success, it was from his second solo album, “City to City”, an album that holds the distinction of dethroning the “Saturday Night Fever soundtrack” on July 8, 1978. The popular movie soundtrack spent 24 weeks at #1. Rafferty’s first solo album, “Can I Have My Money Back?” was released in 1972 just prior to the formation of Stealers Wheel.

Rafferty had a very distinctive, smooth singing voice, perfect for pop radio in the 1970’s. He was truly one of my favorite singers and I leave you with some of his best work.

Easily, my all time favorite Gerry Rafferty song “Right Down the Line” from 1978

Click song title to hear song

“The Royal Mile (Sweet Darlin’)”

“Home and Dry”

“Mattie’s Rag”

“Days Gone Down”

“Baker Street”

“Get It Right Next Time”

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