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Ray Sawyer (1937 – 2018), Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show singer

(Photo by Jorgen Angel/Redferns)

Sang lead on the band’s hit song “The Cover of Rolling Stone”

Ray Sawyer (1937 – 2018) was a vocalist with 1970s hit-makers Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show. The band was known for their song “The Cover of Rolling Stone,” which was written by Shel Silverstein. Other hits by the band were “Only Sixteen” and “When You’re in Love With a Beautiful Woman.”

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Died: Monday, December 31, 2018. (Who else died on December 31?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 81 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

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Sawyer’s trademark eye patch: Sawyer wore an eyepatch over his right eye from an auto accident a few years before he co-founded the band. The eyepatch made him look like the Dr. Hook character from Peter Pan, which influenced the name of the band. Sawyer also wore a cowboy hat and became the most recognizable personality in the group.

Partnership with Shel Silverstein: Author and songwriter Shel Silverstein heard a demo tape of the band and recruited them to record his songs. Silverstein penned “The Cover of Rolling Stone” and “Sylvia’s Mother,” which were the first hit songs for the band.

What people said about him: “Although I hadn’t been in contact with Ray for many, many years it does not erase the fact that we were once close friends and shared an important time in both our lives. Deep condolences go out to his family at what must be a difficult time.” – Dr. Hook co-founder Dennis Locorriere said in a statement to Rolling Stone

“Ray Sawyer, drummer & sometime singer with Dr Hook, has died aged 81. He gave a unique southern vocal to The Cover of Rolling Stone & the heartbreaking Silvia’s Mother. Born in Chickasaw, Alabama, Sawyer was a quintessential southern musician. Alabama r’n’r Hall of Fame inductee.” – Dennis Atkins, National Affairs Editor, The Courier-Mail on Twitter

Full obituary: Chicago Sun-Times

Related lives:

Rock Stars Memorial Site – Remembering rockers who died

Darryl Dragon (1949 – 2019), The “Captain” from Captain and Tennille

Shel Silverstein Set To Music