R.I.P. Gerry Rafferty

4 Jan

Gerry Rafferty R.I.P. A remembrance.

There was a radio station in Philly called WIOQ back in the day (circa ’77-82/83-ish?) that was one of the last bastions of the “progressive rock” era that was (probably) the last commercial radio station I listened to for “that” kind of music. These days WIOQ (Q-102) is pretty much your standard Jingle Ball station (my kids love it), but the days when I listened, as a fan, not yet in the “biz,” my two longtime favorite Philly DJ’s – David Dye and Helen Leicht – introduced me to all kinds of music. (I now have the privilege of working with Dye – he’s the host of World Cafe; and Helen who does mid-days at WXPN). Not just the classic rock of the day, but to stuff like The Meters and Richard Thompson and Nick Drake and this guy named Gerry Rafferty. The first time I heard him, it took me a New York second to recognize that name as the voice of “Stuck In The Middle With You” by his band Stealers Wheel (yeah, yeah, yeah see Reservoir Dogs, also).

As a solo artist I remember hearing the title song to Rafferty’s now classic e-z listening album City To City; ya know the one – with the song “Baker Street” and the follow-up single “Right Down The Line.” “Baker Street” may have one of the most memorable sax solos in a rock song, but it was the album’s title song “City To City” which was the first “deep track” I heard from the album on WIOQ – and I was hooked from the first line. Sure, “Baker Street” was memorable for it’s sax solo (by Raphael Ravenscroft) but the title song was the first track from that album that drew me in and remains one of my favorites from back in the day.

Rafferty died today after a battle with liver cancer. He was 63.

Download: City To City – Gerry Rafferty

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