Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

200

Kenny Rankin Singer-Songwriter's Long Career Almost Defied Categorization Dies

SOURCE:

Sign in to view read count
Kenny Rankin
A well-regarded guitarist, he wrote the hit song 'Peaceful' for Helen Reddy and played in Bob Dylan's backup band on the influential 1965 album 'Bringing It All Back Home.'

Kenny Rankin, a singer-songwriter and musician whose song “Peaceful" was a hit for Helen Reddy and who had popular covers himself of a pair of Beatles hits, has died. He was 69.

Rankin died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The cause of death, according to his management company, was lung cancer, which was diagnosed three weeks ago.

His career, which spanned more than five decades, almost defied categorization. A well-regarded guitarist, he played in Bob Dylan's backup band on the influential 1965 album “Bringing It All Back Home." He also spent several years on the road opening for comedian George Carlin.

Rankin appeared on “The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson more than 25 times. Carson was such a fan that he wrote the liner notes for Rankin's 1967 debut LP, “Mind Dusters."

As a singer with a velveteen tenor voice, he had highly successful covers of the Beatles' “Blackbird" and “Penny Lane" in the mid-1970s and in 1976 recorded an LP of standards, “The Kenny Rankin Album," with a large orchestra conducted by Don Costa.

In a review of a 2000 Rankin performance at a San Fernando Valley jazz club, critic Don Heckman wrote in The Times: “Rankin has been -- for a decade or more -- a singer whose unusual improvisational skills and innate capacity to deliver a melody with a strong sense of swing stamp him as a consistently appealing jazz artist."

Continue Reading...

Tags

News

Timely announcements from the industry.