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Died On This Date (July 21, 2005) Long John Baldry / British Blues Great

Posted by themusicsover on July 21, 2010

John Baldry
January 12, 1941 – July 21, 2005

Long John Baldry was an English born (and later Canadian) blues singer who played a pivotal role in the British blues rock scene of the 1960s.  A towering presence at 6′-7”, Baldry was nicknamed Long John and had a booming voice to go with it.  He was one of the first British singers of note to perform in blues clubs.  As part of Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated during the early ’60s, Baldry sang on the first ever British blues album, R&B From The Marquee.  During those early years, Baldry performed with a who’s who of future rock superstars including Rod Stewart, Jack Bruce, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards.  In fact, it is Baldry voice you hear introducing the Rolling Stones on their album Got Live If You Want It.  In 1967, Baldry released the single, “Let The Heartaches Begin” which shot to #1 on the UK charts.  Not long after, he found himself consoling a distraught Elton John (with whom he performed in Bluesology) who had tried to commit suicide after a failed relationship with a woman.  Baldry, who was openly gay, talked John out of marrying the woman and helped him come to terms with his sexuality.  John returned the favor by writing one of his beloved songs, “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” about Baldry.  Baldry eventually migrated to and became a citizen of Canada where he continued to make records and launched a lucrative career as a voice-over actor.  His final album, 1997’s Right To Sing The Blues earned the Juno Award for Best Blues Album.  But his voice could still be heard in animated features until 2003.  Long John Baldry died of a lung infection on July 21, 2005.  He was 64.

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