Blues legend Long John Baldry dies
VANCOUVER (CP) — Vancouver-based blues legend Long John Baldry has died after a four-month battle with a chest infection, his agent said Friday on the musician’s website.
The 64-year-old musical giant was admitted to the intensive-care unit of a Vancouver hospital in April after returning from a trip to his native Britain with respiratory problems.
Baldry is credited as one of the main forces in British blues, rock and pop music in the 1960s and first hit the top of the U.K. singles charts in 1967 with Let the Heartaches Begin. He has released over 40 albums.
Baldry, nicknamed Long John because of his six-foot-seven-inch height, had been living in Canada for most of the past 25 years.
He has performed and recorded with such top rock ‘n’ rollers as Rod Stewart, Elton John, Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger. The Rolling Stones even opened for Baldry in London during an early performance in the 1960s, before the band became a household name.
The British press reported that Stewart considered Baldry a mentor, and was at his bedside when he was first admitted to hospital after he fell ill in March. There were reports Stewart even helped to pay his ailing friend’s medical bills.
Baldry claimed blues legends like Big Joe Turner, Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry as his earliest musical influences.