Gerry Rafferty~Clowns to the Left Jokers to the Right!

April 20, 2011

Scottish singer Gerry Rafferty and comedian Billy Connolly were an unlikely pairing in their group the Humblebums but for a while it worked really well with Gerry supplying the songs and Billy the comedy between the music. Gerry Rafferty’s strong songwriting talents were already in evidence at this early stage of his career with songs like the turntable hit ‘ Shoeshine Boy ‘ and the Humblebums became well~known on the live folk club circuit of Glasgow.

However as Billy’s jokes became longer and longer, Gerry’s songs had to get shorter and shorter and Gerry soon spilt from Billy and headed to where the bright lights of London were calling in 1969 and as for Billy Connolly the rest as they say is history!

Our little Scottish singer songwriter signed a solo deal in London with Transatlantic Records and in 1971 released ‘Can I Have My Money Back’ which received excellent reviews and featured the vocal talents of his ol’ school chum Joe Egan on some tracks and from these sessions the group Stealer’s Wheel was born.                                                                      

‘Can I Have My Money Back’ was produced by Hugh Murphy who would work with Rafferty again on his solo work in 1978.

Stealers Wheel first self titled album released in 1973 was a big success produced by legendary 50’s producers and writers Leiber & Stoller. With Egan and Rafferty on vocals and  harmonies they sounded a little Beatle~ish and with a great back up band  the chosen single ‘Stuck In The Middle’ zoomed up the charts in the UK and the States and was later used in the Quentin Taratino film ‘Reservoir Dogs’ in 1991.

Stealers Wheel were to last for three albums, the self titled Stealers Wheel, Ferguslie Park and Right or Wrong and each one is really really good in their own right! In this time Gerry Rafferty left the band and then came back on the success of the single before the whole thing fell apart again, but this period of his career is well worth searching out!                   

It took him three years of legal hassle before he could get himself free and release another solo record and what a record it was!

The great British pop record of 1978 was ‘ Baker Street’ right in the middle of the Disco period the instantly recognizable sax riff from Raphael Ravencroft helped make the record a world~wide hit from his first solo album ‘City To City’ which went Platinum (back when Platinum sales really meant something!) selling over five million copies. Every radio station around the universe had the song on heavy rotation, but our reluctant star Gerry refused to tour the USA and continued to do things in his own relaxed way!

That was the one thing about Gerry Rafferty he was a songwriter talent of the highest order and didn’t suffer clowns or jokers gladly!                  

He will always be remembered down on the corner of Baker Street. 

Once again Gerry’s solo albums are all of the highest quality and look out for the songs : Can I Have My Money Back ~ Mary Skeffington ~ Shoeshine Boy ~ Steamboat Row ~ Everything Will Turn Out Fine ~ Star ~ Right Down The Line ~ Night Owl ` Get It Right Next Time ~ Whatever’s Written In Your Heart ~ Days Gone By and North & South ~ to name but a few!


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