Sunday, October 17, 2010

Today In Oldies 10/18/2010

Golden Hits Radio and GHR-2......with a brand new week of Oldies news!

Where In The World Is........Gerry Rafferty?

If you can say one thing about Gerry Rafferty, it is that he certainly has one of the more interesting "Where Are They Now?" stories in recent memory.  In fact, for a period of several weeks in 2008, no one (including Everything Oldies) could have answered the question "Where In The World Is......Gerry Rafferty?"  Fortunately, the ending appears to be happy. 

Gerry Rafferty was born in Paisley, Scotland, and began his music career in London performing around the London Underground.  After some time in a band called The Humblebums (which also featured Scottish actor and comedian Billy Connolly), he released his first solo album, "Can I Have My Money Back", in 1972.  His first taste of chart success came when he formed Stealer's Wheel with pal Joe Egan.  Despite various legal issues during their time as a group, they scored a major hit both in the U.S. and across the pond in Britain with "Stuck In The Middle With You".  It was a Top 10 hit both countries in 1973, and became a classic all over again in Quentin Tarantino's 1992 cult classic film Reservoir Dogs.  

Following the 1975 breakup of Stealer's Wheel, Gerry Rafferty resumed his solo career, and he did it in a big way.  His 1978 album "City To City" kept the hits coming.  "Baker Street" was the first, and it was a bona fide smash, hitting #2 in the U.S., #3 in the UK, and fueling sales of the album to the tune of 5.5 million copies!  The song remains a staple of Oldies radio stations today.  How big was "City To City" in its heyday?  How about big enough to knock one of the biggest selling albums of all time, the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, out of the #1 slot?  "City To City" also generated several more Top 40 hits, including "Home and Dry" and "Right Down The Line" (which hit #1 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary singles chart in 1978).  His next album, 1979's "Night Owl", also sold well and produced several hits, including "Days Gone Down" and "Get It Right Next Time". 

While Gerry Rafferty was omnipresent on radio and in record stores, one place you rarely found him in those days was the concert stage.  He was reluctant to perform live, and as a result, subsequent albums in the 80's made little impact in record stores and on the radio.  He did remain successful in the UK, however, and continued to make music throughout the new millenium.  

Sadly, Rafferty's personal life began to bottom out over the past few years.  Alcoholism had him living alone at London's Westbury Hotel.  While we may never know the facts, various newspaper reports gave varying accounts of what happened next.  Scotland On Sunday's account indicated Rafferty was asked to leave the Westbury at some point in July 2008 following reports that his unit had become unihabitable and complaints from other residents that he frequently urinated in the hallways.  The same report claimed he had disappeared August 1, 2008 following a short hospital stay for a liver condition.  Subsequent police reports refute that, claiming no missing persons report was ever issued.  Yet another early 2009 newspaper report had him living in seclusion in the south of England.  Eventually, however, he was accounted for, with a statement from someone associated with Rafferty saying he was alive and well and living in Tuscany with plans for an album.  That album, "Life Goes On", emerged in November 2009.  Here's hoping Gerry Rafferty has overcome his demons and plans to keep making great music for years to come!

Before he bottomed out at the Westbury, the street Gerry Rafferty called home took him to the top of the charts........

Golden Hits Radio and GHR-2's Burning Question of the Day.......Woodstock Week

***This week, each question will pertain to artists who did not appear at Woodstock and the reasons they weren't there***

Which band turned down Woodstock, because, according to one member, "......we were stupid. We thought it would be a second class repeat of (the) Monterey Pop Festival"?

Check back tomorrow @ Everything Oldies for the answer, and leave a Comment here with your best guess! 

Yesterday's Burning Question (and Answer) of the Day

Which music superstar provided a guest voice on The Simpsons under the pseudonym John Jay Smith?

Answer: Michael Jackson

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