Dr. Hook’s Ray Sawyer, ‘Cover of Rolling Stone’ Singer, Dead at 81


Ray Sawyer, the member of the Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show who sang the Rolling Stone cover penned by Shel Silverstein, dies at 81.

The sources reported on Friday that the singer died at the Daytona Beach, Florida after a brief illness. Sawyer was born in Alabama and founded the group with Billy Francis, George Cummings and Dennis Locorriere. He was a part of Dr Hook & The Medicine Show from 1969 – 1981.

In an unfortunate incident, Sawyer lost his eye in an accident. This happened a few years before the band was formed. Sawyer’s eye patch made him look like Captain Hook from Peter Pan. Dr Hook moniker took inspiration from him only.

In 1970, Shel Silverstein got the demo tapes of Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show and then he recruited the band for his music’s vessel. The group turned the tracks written by Silverstein including “The Cover of “Rolling Stone’” and “Sylvia’s Mother” into huge hits. They even released two albums based on the songs penned by Silverstein including Dr Hook and Sloppy Seconds.

The latter singer was also in the Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 single. Dr Hook & The Medicine Show was also a consequence of this album and received a Rolling Stone cover in March 1973 and also the New Jersey-via-Alabama act profile.

The band got sudden ascension from an unknown bar band to Rolling Stone’s cover. After the partnership of the band with Silverstein, the band changed their name to Dr Hook and further released a lot of hit singles during the seventies including “A Little Bit More”, “Only Sixteen”, “When You’re in Love With a Beautiful Woman” and “Sexy Eyes”.

Sawyer pursued his solo career after nine albums with Dr Hook in 1983. In 1977, he released a self-titled solo LP. Sawyer stopped performing live in 2015 due to health issues.

Source: Rolling Stone, The Music Channel Live

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