Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty, who scored top 10 U.S. hits with Stealers Wheel and as a solo performer, died Jan. 4 in Dorset, England. He was 63.
Rafferty, who had struggled with alcoholism, had been hospitalized Nov. 5 after suffering liver failure and collapsing at home. He had been taken off life support late last year and died at home, according to a report in the Guardian.
Rafferty worked with Scottish comic-musician Billy Connolly in the Humblebums before forming Stealers Wheel in 1972 with singer-keyboardist Joe Egan.
The duo racked up a No. 6 U.S. hit with their co-written original “Stuck in the Middle With You” in 1973. The oft-covered song was a radio staple for decades, and returned to prominence in 1992 via its use in a hackle-raising scene in director Quentin Tarantino’s debut feature “Reservoir Dogs.” Stealers Wheel split up in 1975.
The biggest of Rafferty’s half-dozen American solo chart singles came in 1978: the No. 2 hit “Baker Street,” which featured a soaring saxophone solo by Raphael Ravenscroft. The accompanying album “City to City” rose to No. 1 and spent nearly a year on the chart.
Other top solo singles included “Right Down the Line” (No. 12, 1978) and “Days Gone Down” (No. 17, 1979).
The hits dried up for Rafferty in 1980, but he continued to record, though he remained a reticent live performer. His last album, “Life Goes On,” was released in 2009.
Survivors include a daughter, granddaughter and brother.