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Gerald (Gerry) Rafferty


1947 - 2011

Musician and music producer. Born in Paisley, Rafferty as educated at St. Mirin's Academy in the town, alongside Joe Egan (b. 1946). Rafferty was a member of the Humblebums with Billy Connolly (b.1942), who became better known as a comedian. Rafferty then joined Egan in various bands, including The Sensors and The Mavericks, before the pair found success with the folk-rock band Stealers Wheel which they founded in Paisley in 1972. Their song Stuck in the Middle With You reached the Top Ten in the UK and the USA in 1973. Rafferty went on to further success as a solo artist and is perhaps best-known for his song Baker Street (1978), with its remarkable saxophone riff, which reached No.2 in the US charts and No.3 in the UK. A series of albums followed; Night Owl (1979), Snakes and Ladders (1980), Sleepwalking (1982), North and South (1988), On a Wing and a Prayer (1993), Over My Head (1994) and Another World (2000), with other notable hits including Right Down the Line (1978) and Don't Give Up On Me (1992). Rafferty also performed the song The Way It Always Starts for the soundtrack of Bill Forsyth's film, Local Hero (1983), while the Stealers Wheel's Stuck in the Middle With You was used by Quentin Tarantino in his film Reservoir Dogs (1992). As a producer, he was responsible for The Proclaimers hit Letter from America (1987).

Having suffered from alcoholism, Rafferty died in Bournemouth (England) from liver failure. His funeral was held in St. Mirin's Cathedral, Paisley, attended by First Minister Alex Salmond (b.1954) and Craig and Charlie Reid (of The Proclaimers), with the eulogy given by playwright and artist John Byrne (b.1940). Following a cremation at Woodside Crematorium, his ashes were scattered on Iona.


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