Original member of US outfit, Dr Hook (formerly Dr Hook & The Medicine Show), Ray Sawyer, has passed away at the age of 81.
As Page Six reports, the Alabama-born songwriter’s publicist confirmed he passed following a brief illness.
Sawyer, who lost his right eye in a car accident years before Dr Hook’s formation, featured in the band from 1969-1981. He reportedly retired from performing three years ago due to declining health.
Perhaps best known for singing lead vocals on the 1972-released track, The Cover Of Rolling Stone, Sawyer enjoyed success with Dr Hook in the ’70s with other hit songs like Only Sixteen, A Little Bit More and When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman.
Early single Sylvia’s Mother proved to be Dr Hook’s first global hit, which reached #1 in Australia, US, Ireland, New Zealand in South Africa.
In 1975, Dr Hook again cracked the top ten of the Australian music charts with The Millionaire (#8) and followed that up with 1977’s Walk Right In which peaked at top spot.
Their cover of traditional Australian-Irish ballad, The Wild Colonial Boy, also peaked at #4 on the local charts in 1981.
Dr Hook frontman Dennis Locorriere still tours and performs the group’s hit songs, last playing in Australia in 2015.