Dick Kniss

  • "To Diane. I am tearful as I just found out Dick had passed..."
    - Jennifer Turbett née Wilkie
  • "Dear Kniss Family,I am so sorry for your loss.I never got..."
    - Annabelle Haviland
  • "I was just listening to Denver, and being a bass player,..."
    - greg lowe
  • "I have always said I played with a legend. Only a few..."
    - Phil Rassier
  • "I hear you play many times wth P P &M. I admire your rhythm..."
    - David Omar

Dick Kniss (Associated Press)
SAUGERTIES, N.Y. (AP) — Dick Kniss, a bassist who performed for five decades with the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary and co-wrote the John Denver hit "Sunshine on My Shoulders," has died. He was 74.

Kniss died Wednesday of pulmonary disease at a hospital near his home in the Hudson Valley town of Saugerties, his wife, Diane Kniss said.

Kniss was born in Portland, Ore., and was an original member of Denver's 1970s band. He also played with jazz greats including Herbie Hancock and Woody Herman.

Active in the 1960s civil rights movement, Kniss performed at benefits for a range of causes and played during the first celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a national holiday.

Peter, Paul and Mary's Peter Yarrow said in a statement that Kniss was "our intrepid bass player for almost as long as we performed together.

"He was a dear and beloved part of our closest family circle and his bass playing was always a great fourth voice in our music as well as, conceptually, an original and delightfully surprising new statement added to our vocal arrangements," Yarrow said.

Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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