Just happened to see this note a few moments ago from a friend. Darn.
I know Gerry and Joe Egan's Stealer's Wheel weren't Americana, but they brought an acoustic-folk sound to AM radio with their music, and it was back at a time when many types of sounds and musical styles were available to hear on the radio...before the suits messed it up.
Here's the news (and I'll drop some videos in the comments section):
Gerry Rafferty Dead At 63
By Paul Cashmere
Scottish singer Gerry Rafferty, best known for the hits ‘Baker Street’ and ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’, has died after a long illness with liver disease.
Rafferty started out in a band called the Humblebums with comedian Billy Connolly.
In 1972, he recorded his first solo album and had his first hit with ‘Can I Have My Money Back’.
Next, he teamed with buddy Joe Egan and formed Stealers Wheel. The recent, another global hit with ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ that was used in 1992 in the movie Reservoir Digs.
Rafferty’s big moment was the 1978 album ‘City To City’ and the song ‘Baker Street’. The single reached no. 1 in Australia, no. 2 in the USA and no. 3 in the UK. The album sold 5.5 million copies. It became Rafferty’s pension plan with reports he was still earning more than $150,000 from its royalties.
In August 2008, it was reported that Rafferty had disappeared after being cared for suffering a chronic liver condition. A missing persons report was never filed but it wasn’t until February 2009 that a statement was issued to say he had been staying in Tuscany for the previous six months.
In November 2009, he released his final album ‘Life Goes On’.
Rafferty was taken to hospital in November 2010 in Bournemouth, Dorset but was given little chance at that point and taken off life support. He died 4 January 2011.