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In Passing: Gerry Rafferty April 16, 1947 – January 4, 2011

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Gerry Rafferty passed away January 4, 2011 from liver failure. He is best remembered for his work with the group Stealers Wheel and as a solo artist during the late ’70s and early ’80s.

Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan met in school and after performing together and in separate bands, and formed Stealers Wheel during 1972. “Stuck In The Middle With You” (#6) and “Star” (#29) were the big hits for the duo.

Back in 1978 I almost wore out my old vinyl copy of Gerry Rafferty’s City To City. It was a breath of fresh air during the late ’70s as it was an album of polished pop/rock. It produced three hit singles in the United States. “Baker Street” (#2) with one of the great sax solos in modern music by Raphael Ravenscroft, “Right Down The Line” (#12), and “Home and Dry” (#28) were all radio staples of the era. The album sold millions of copies and was the release that finally replaced Saturday Night Fever at the number one position after six months.

Interestingly “Baker Street” stayed at the number two position for six weeks and “Right Down The Line” reached number one on the Adult Contemporary Chart for four weeks.

While such albums as Night Owl and Snakes and Ladders would be commercially successful, his popularity would be hurt by his reluctance to perform live. While he would continue to create and release critically acclaimed albums until just before his death, he would never regain his vast commercial success.

So tonight, in celebration of his music, I have dusted off my copy of City To City for one last trip down “Baker Street.”

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About David Bowling

  • harleybluz

    I too have been collecting vynl for approx the same amount of years. I’m lucky to have married a man who has done the same. We have an awsome collection and almost all of Gerry’s. I’m sad to hear he passed but thank him for many years of feeling happy listening to him. We have wine bottles (appropriately collected for their labels as pertains to the artist)that are used as tribute candles for the great ones gone and we’ll be drinking one this weekend so we’ll have one for Gerry. So the light from our house this weekend and every year after will be for you Gerry. I miss you already.

  • Dave

    Personally, due to the nature of his death, I think perhaps to celebrate Gerry’s freedom from the bottle perhaps a bottle of water would be more appropriate. I too have dusted off “City to City” but am celebrating it with the sobriety that eluded Gerry.

  • http://etierphotography.blogspot.com fcetier

    I still remember where I was and what I was doing when news came that his work had taken number one from SNF.
    Thanks for a nice tribute. You’ve inspired me to go look up “Baker Street” on YouTube.

  • kiddo

    Gerry was a true genius and a poet . His reluctance to tour and promote his work probably deprived him of being totally mega.Like John Martyn’s passing , the world has lost another unique talent . R.I.P. Gerry .