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Baker Street Rafferty dies at 63

on 11/01/2019

Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty, who enjoyed huge success with 1970s hits “Baker Street” and “Stuck in the Middle With You” died on Tuesday after a long illness, his agent said.

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He was 63.

Rafferty, who suffered from well documented problems with alcohol, reportedly died peacefully at home in Dorset, southern England, with his daughter Martha at his bedside.

“I can confirm that Gerry sadly passed away,” his agent Paul Charles told AFP.

Before pursuing a successful solo career, the Scot was a member of the band Stealers Wheel with whom he recorded “Stuck in the Middle with You” in 1972.

The song was given a fresh lease of life after being featured on the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 hit movie “Reservoir Dogs”, where it provided the incongruous backing music to a gruesome ear-slicing scene.

But it is his solo hit “Baker Street”, a 1978 soft-rock classic with a trademark saxophone solo that propelled it into the top 10 of the British and US charts, for which he will be best remembered.

The song still receives airplay on radio stations across the world and was said to be earning the singer thousands of pounds a year in royalties right up until his death.

The prominent saxophone solo, which was recorded by Raphael Ravenscroft, is rumoured to have been originally intended for a guitar — it was only when the guitarist did not turn up that Ravenscroft stepped in and belted out one of the most memorable passages in soft-rock music.

After a tough upbringing in the Scottish town of Paisley, Rafferty started his musical career in earnest playing for folk outfit the Humblebums, led by musician and comedian Billy Connolly.

He formed Stealers Wheel in 1972 with his friend Joe Egan, before finally going solo. In the past two decades, he released the albums “On a Wing and a Prayer”, “Over My Head” and “Another World”.

Rafferty’s later years were overshadowed by alcoholism, poor health and apparent disappearances.

In November he was admitted to hospital in Bournemouth, southern England, after he collapsed.

He had to reassure fans of his wellbeing in February 2009 after reports he had gone missing. His solicitor said he was composing new songs at his home in Italy.

As well as battling problems with alcohol, Rafferty also endured professional disputes during his career, most notably a long-running contract disagreement with Stealers Wheel.


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