New Orleans musician Dr. John has passed away at the age of 77, according to the artist’s social media manager and publicist, Karen Beninato.
In a post on Dr. John’s Facebook page, Beninato said Dr. John died because of a heart attack.
Dr. John was a six-time Grammy winner, songwriter, composer, producer and performer as well as a Rock N Roll Hall of Fame inductee. His real name is Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack.
His sound is rooted in his New Orleans heritage, as Dr. John learned to play the piano and guitar as a young child.
“As a child growing up in the 1940s, he was steeped in the music of the city. ‘It was a special time in New Orleans,’ he told USA Today’s Edna Gunderson. ‘The radio stations played basically New Orleans music, and I thought that was what the whole world heard,’” reads Dr. John’s biography page on the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame’s website.
Dr. John was one of many musicians to come out of New Orleans, and he was also at the forefront of the southern rock and southern jam movement.
Let’s take a trip to New Orleans and explore some of Dr. John’s greatest hits.
‘Right Place Wrong Time’
Dr. John’s, “Right Place Wrong Time” encapsulates the groove, funk and all the right things of southern music in the 1970s. Off of his 1973 album In the Right Place, “Right Place Wrong Time” made Dr. John a household name, as it was a top ten hit at the time.
“Right Place Wrong Time” is a testament to anyone who has spent some time wandering through life, never really knowing where they were going. “I been in the wrong place but it must have been the right time,” – a line, and groove to go along with it, that will take any listener back to the best days of their youth.
“Revolution” will make you get on the dance floor – a cure only Dr. John can prescribe to help you out with the groovy shakes this song brings on. One of Dr. John’s newer songs, “Revolution” comes off of his 2012 album Locked Down.
“Revolution” is not only a testament to Dr. John’s longevity as an artist (it was released just 7 years ago) it also carries a powerful and inspirational message.
“The real… / Propaganda, hypocrisy / Did we lose our constitution? / Rebellious revolution / Is / this the final solution? / A rebellious revolution / Is this the final solution? / The final solution,” Dr John sings in order to capture the hearts and minds of those who want to make the change they want to see in the world.
‘(Everybody Wanna Get Rich) Rite Away’
“(Everybody Wanna Get Rich) Rite Away” is off of Dr. John’s 1974 album Desitively Bonnaroo and it is quick, funky and packs a punch. This song truly shows why Dr. John is a rhythm and blues legend.
It’s quick guitar movements, fast beat and Dr. John’s legendary scattin’ ability makes this tune one of a kind. Who cares if it’s repetitive, and who cares if everybody does wanna get rich right away? All I know is Dr. John does not hold back when it comes to this insanely groovy track.
‘Such a Night’
As well as being on Dr. John’s 1974 album, “Such a Night” was also performed as part of The Band’s The Last Waltz concert. The song also appears in the music video of the 2001 action/adventure film starring Kurt Russel, 3000 Miles To Graceland.
“Such a Night” being apart of a film’s music video and it being affiliate The Band is great and all, but one of the other reasons this song is so great is because of Dr. John’s fantastic blues breakdown at the end of the song.
The video above was filmed during The Band’s The Last Waltz concert.
‘I Walk on Guilded Splinters’
“I Walk on Guilded Splinters” is one of Dr. John’s earliest hits. Off of his debut album, Gris-Gris tributed to Dr. John the Night Tripper, “I Walk on Guilded Splinters” is a tribute not only the voodoo-inspired sounds that come out of southern Louisiana, but also to a 19th-century healer who claimed to be an African potentate named Dr. John Montaine. This is where Rebenack’s alter-ego “Dr. John” came from.